The Gingerbread Express unveiling Nov. 17

- The Salvation Army is once again teaming up with the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester to keep families warm and well fed this holiday season -- and they are doing it in a tasty way.

The Royal Park Hotel will unveil its latest giant gingerbread creation, The Gingerbread Express, on November 17. The Salvation Army brass band will also be there to perform Christmas classics while you sip on hot chocolate and indulge in other sweet treats, such as the Michigan Traverse City Cherry Almond Spice Tart. You can find the recipe for the sweet below.

You can come watch the unveiling for free at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 17 at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. The Gingerbread Express will be available for public viewing through Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

The Gingerbread Express supports The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit's 2016 Red Kettle campaign.


Almond Sable Tart Crust

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1¼ cups flour

Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar until creamy, then add egg yolks. Scrape vanilla beans and add to mixture. Add the flour in stages until all is gone. Finally, add the sliced almonds until all is combined.

Chill flat for 15-30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, roll thin and place over tart shell. Tuck in sides and trim the edges. Using a fork, poke holes in the bottom of tart dough and freeze for 1 hour. Place frozen tart in 350°F for 10-15 minutes until dough is golden brown.

Spice cherry filling

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 oz. cranberry juice, chilled
  • 12 oz. cherry juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 1 oz. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • Orange zest

Place cherry juice, orange zest and cinnamon stick in a pot and bring to a boil. In a small mixing bowl, stir sugar and corn starch with cold cranberry juice, then whisk in cherry juice. Add to boiling pot and cook until liquid thickens. Add frozen cherries and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Brown butter financier topping

  • 250 grams brown butter
  • 120 grams powdered sugar
  • 300 grams almond flour
  • 100 grams flour
  • 8 grams baking powder
  • 250 grams egg whites
  • Pinch of salt

Cook butter in pan until brown. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Slowly add vanilla, egg whites and melted butter.

Fill cooked tart shell with cherry filling, slightly under filled. Then pipe financier filling, starting with the edged until the center is filled. Sprinkle with the sliced almond. Freeze tart until solid. Remove from freezer and bake at 325°F for 16-20 minutes until dark golden brown.

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