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Archive for November, 2014

Bordstabler

Ok, I know it’s not Christmas yet, it is not even December, however, I just get so excited about this time of year 🎅 Anyway, this cookie doesn’t have to be a Christmas cookie, it could be like a little side dessert for any occasion.

Bordstabler are wonderful Norwegian Christmas cookies. They are tender butter cookies with a strip of delicious almond meringue on top. I served these cookies for the Blacksmith gang and the cookies were all gone except for 3 by the end of the meeting.

The dough itself gave me a bit of trouble though. After all ingredients were added it still appeared very soft and tacky but I figured it would set up some in the fridge, which it did, but not enough. So I had to knead the dough while adding more flour until it was smooth and no longer sticky. That being said I have written the recipe up the way I followed it, but you need to know that you’ll probably have to add a little more flour than the recipe calls for and I would add it in as needed while kneading the dough. Even though the dough was temperamental the cookies were well worth the effort. I hope you enjoy these Bordstabler as much as the Blacksmith gang did 🙂

Bordstabler (makes about 25 cookies)

Ingredients:

1 egg yolk

1/2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

60 g sugar (2.1 oz)

125 g butter, at room temperature (4.4 oz)

125 g flour (4.4 oz), plus more while kneading dough

Filling:

2 egg whites, at room temperature

120 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted (4.2 oz)

120 g almond meal/flour(4.2 oz)

Directions:

Using a hand-held mixer beat together the egg yolk, whipping cream and sugar. While continuing to mix add butter and flour in 1/3 increments until all incorporated. Place dough on a well-floured surface; knead dough adding more flour as needed until dough is no longer sticky. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.

Before you take the dough out of the refrigerator, make the filling.

To make the filling: whip the egg whites until stiff. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the egg whites and add almond meal, fold into egg whites. Place filling into a pastry bag fitted with a tip of your choice (I used# 21) and set aside. If you don’t have a pastry bag and tip, simply just spoon the filling onto dough.

Preheat oven to 345 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll the dough out to 2 mm thickness. Using a pastry cutter, cut out the cookies to a 2 x 10 cm rectangle (0.8 x 4 in). Gently lift up dough rectangle and place on baking sheet. Using your pastry bag squeeze a long strip of filling onto each dough rectangle.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving cookies to a cooling rack.

Source: adapted from dinmat.no

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Honninghjerte

Honninghjerte

Honninghjerter has a special place in my heart. I remember as a child always starring at the hearts in the store and it was a special occation when I was allowed to get one. The hearts are sold only at Christmas time and they are decorated with a glansbillede which were very popular in Denmark when I was growing up. All the girls in my class would collect glansbilleder and we would trade them with each other, so making these Honey Hearts brought back a lot of wonderful memories.

Making Pre-dough, melt honey and mix with flour, store dough for 1 month.
To break up Pre-dough, carefully chip dough into small pieces using the tip of your knife.

Honninghjerter is typically not a Christmas cookie or cake that you bake at home for Christmas, perhaps because it is a rather lengthy process to make them. It is only in the past few years that they have become popular to make and I have seen them on different Danish food blogs. What I found was a lack of description and direction on the details on how to make them. For example, what is the best way to break up the very hard Pre-dough and there were no descriptions anywhere of how big the hearts should be, when cut out. So this has really been a trail and error ordeal, but the hearts turned out wonderful and they tasted just like I remember them, like Christmas 😀

Mixing dough can be a rough ride, chop Pre-dough into small pieces to make mixing easier. Image #2 is dough after 3 minutes of mixing, image #3 is dough after 6 minutes of mixing. Dough will be very sticky.

Mixing dough can be a rough ride, chop Pre-dough into small pieces to make mixing easier. Image #2 is dough after 3 minutes of mixing, image #3 is dough after 6 minutes of mixing. Dough will be very sticky.

Making Honninghjerter is a very long process. If you want them ready for Christmas, you should make the Pre-dough around mid November. The Pre-dough should rest for 1 month but you can probably get away with less, if you get a late start. The Pre-dough will get very hard after a month of resting, and this is normal. I found the best way to break up the hard dough is by carefully inserting the tip of a sharp knife and twist the knife to break loose the dough. The smaller the pieces, the easier it will be to mix everything up later, so feel free to give the dough a quick chop after it’s broken up.

Dough will be very sticky, use plenty of flour for rolling.

Using a cookie cutter will save you time. My pre-baked hearts were 11 cm wide (4.3 inches) which were a little too big. Note: dough will spread out quite a bit during baking. When rolling the dough it will be very sticky, use plenty of flour for rolling.

As for the size of the hearts I didn’t know what size cookie cutter to buy, so I simply just cut a template out of paper and cut them out with a knife (which turned out to be very time consuming). My pre-baked hearts measured 11 cm wide (4.3 inch) but grew quite a bit during baking to 15 cm wide (5.9 inch). The hearts are suppose to be big but I thinks mine turned out jumbo 🙂 so I would recommend scaling them down a bit.

After baking the heart will be a little hard. They now need to rest with a moist towel in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This is how I did it without the towel resting directly on the hearts.

After baking, the heart will be a little hard. They now need to rest with a moist towel in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This is how I did it without the towel resting directly on the hearts.

Honninghjerter – Honey Hearts (makes 13 large)

Ingredients:

Pre-dough: (made 1 month ahead)

500 gram honey

500 gram all-purpose flour

Directions for Pre-dough:

Pour honey in a small cooking pot and heat to 40-50 degrees Celsius (104-122 degrees Fahrenheit). Combine warm honey and flour until a smooth mass, place into a container and seal with lid. Store container in a cool, dry place for a minimum of 1 month. The honey pre-dough will get very hard, which is alright. It will soften up again later in the recipe.

Honninghjerter dough:

2 egg yolks

10 gram hjortetaksalt

10 gram potaske

1 tablespoon water

Pre-dough, chopped into small pieces

5 gram ground cinnamon (approx 1 small tablespoon)

5 gram ground ginger (approx 1 small tablespoon)

5 gram ground cloves (approx 1 small tablespoon)

200 gram dark chocolate (for decorating)

Directions for Honninghjerter:

The Pre-dough will now be very hard. Take a sharp knife and carefully start chipping away at the hard dough. Put tip of knife into dough and give a twist to break up the dough little by little. Smaller pieces of honey dough will make your work easier later on, so if you have big chunks, chop them smaller.

Mix egg yolks with hjortetaksalt, set aside. Stir potaske into water until completely dissolved, set aside. Place pre-dough pieces into the bowl of a stand-mixer (the mixing can also be done by hand but will require a lot of muscle). Add egg mixture and potaske mixture to dough. Add cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves. Start mixer on low for 3 minutes, it will be a rough ride. Increase speed to high and mix for another 3 minutes, dough will now become smooth and very sticky.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle paper lightly with flour, set aside.

Sprinkle a very generous layer of flour onto your work surface and scrap dough out onto floured surface (using a wooden spoon works really well for scraping out the sticky dough). Sprinkle more flour on top of dough and give a quick knead. Roll dough out to 4 mm thickness (0.15 inch), sprinkle more flour as needed. Press or cut out heart shapes, using a spatula, place hearts onto baking sheets leaving 5 cm  (2 inches) distance between hearts. Repeat rolling of scrap dough and cutting out hearts until dough is used up. Bake hearts for 8-10 minutes. Test for doneness by gently pressing a finger into center of heart, when done it should spring back and not leave a finger imprint.

Storing hearts: Allow hearts to cool completely. Using a pastry brush, remove excess flour from bottom of each heart. At this point the hearts will be quite hard and they now need to soften up for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Place hearts in a container with a moist clean towel. I did this by lining a box with plastic, place hearts inside box, then one of my cooling racks and then the moist towel. The rack just prevents the moist towel from resting directly on the hearts. Seal container and store in refrigerator for 3-4 days. After the four days, continue to store hearts in refrigerator in a regular contain, but without the moist towel. Hearts can last for over a month in refrigerator. Note: remove only the hearts that you need, brush with melted chocolate and enjoy the same day. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas.

Honninghjerte

Honninghjerte

Source: Claus Meyer

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