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The four Sundays before Christmas are called “Sundays in advent.” Many people will throw an afternoon party on one of these Sundays, get together to bake cookies, make gingerbread houses, go skating, take a walk in the woods, play games, eat Christmas doughnuts (æbleskivers) and drink mulled wine. The butter-fried doughnuts are cooked in a special pan that has about 10 ball-like indentations, but you could simply cook them like crêpes. Glögg is warm red wine with aquavit and spices. It is a lovely drink to serve when it is cold outside. Be careful with the aquavit, or leave it out altogether, to make the mulled wine a bit lighter, with a sweeter taste.

1 ½ ounces fresh yeast

3 1/3 cups lukewarm milk

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons ground cardamom

2 vanilla beans

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

4 eggs, separated

8 to 9 tablespoons butter

Confectioners’ sugar

Raspberry jelly

Dissolve the yeast in the milk in a bowl. In another mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and cardamom. Slit the vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife, and add them to the dry ingredients with the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks into the milk mixture—using an electric mixer if possible. Add the dry ingredients and beat to make a dough. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the dough. Let the batter stand for 40 minutes. Heat the pan over medium heat. Put a little butter in each indentation and when it has melted pour in some of the batter. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden underneath, then turn the doughnuts over so that they form a ball. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately with raspberry jelly and mulled wine. Serves 10 to 12.

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