Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Homemade Crunchy Chocolate

Danes love to make many different types on confections (konfekt) around Christmas time. They are small delectable treasures and usually pretty easy to make. This one is super quick and easy and I adore the slight crunch from the biscuits and the hint of cranberries. It reminds me of my Kiksekage, which I looove, only this is in small bite-size pieces. However, it does contain nougat which I have never seen in a regular grocery store here where we live. So the only way for me to get nougat is to order it online, but it is well worth it 🙂

Homemade Crunchy Chocolate

Ingredients:

200 grams semi-sweet or milk chocolate (7 oz)

100 grams nougat (3.52 oz)

50 grams biscuits (1.76 oz)

30 grams dried cranberries (1 oz)

Directions:

Over a warm water bath, melt nougat and chocolate. Remove bowl from water bath and break biscuits into small pieces, add to melted chocolate. Add dried cranberries and gently stir to moisten and combine all pieces. Line a small container with parchment paper allowing paper to extend over edges for easy removal of chocolate. Pour chocolate mixture into container and place in refrigerator for two hours to cool and set. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas!

Nougat

Source: adapted from Odense Marcipan

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

Lussekatter

Lussekatter mark the beginning of the Christmas season in Sweden and is served on December 13th. This day is St. Lucia and it’s a day which brings light into the winter darkness. St. Lucia is celebrated with a parade of girls dressed in white, carrying candles in their hands and the leading girl has a crown of candles on her head. It’s a very beautiful tradition and you can see more of it here.

In Denmark we inherited the St. Lucia tradition but not the Lussekatter, so these buns are new to me and I must say that they are super delicious when served warm right out of the oven. They have a sweet Saffron flavor and the most beautiful golden color. The down-side to the Lussekatter is that they don’t keep well and they really should be eaten the same day they are baked. However, if they feel a little hard by the end of the day you can soften them up by putting them in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds and they will still be very delicious.

Lussekatter (makes 10 buns)

Ingredients:

100 grams butter (3.5 oz.)

0.75 gram saffron

4 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

200 milliliter milk (6.7 oz.)

50 milliliter heavy whipping cream (1.6 oz.)

100 milliliter sugar (3.4 oz.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 kilogram all-purpose flour (17.6 oz.)

1 egg, for egg wash

raisins (20 large)

Directions:

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt butter and set aside.

Place saffron strands in a small dish and add a very small amount of the sugar. With the back of a spoon smash the saffron and sugar to break the saffron strands into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Heat the milk and cream to 100-110 degrees F (do not exceed 110 degrees). Add the dry yeast and saffron to the warm milk, stir to combine and let sit for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the dough hook, add milk mixture, butter, sugar, salt and egg, start the mixer. Add flour in small increment, continue to mix until dough comes together. Do not over-mix. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea-towel and let rise for 45 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 equal portions. I used my scale for this, making sure each dough ball weighed between 80-100 grams. Roll each dough ball into a long rope measuring 9 inches. Fold each rope into a tight backwards “S” figure and place on baking sheet. Press a large raisin into the middle of the swirl in each end of the dough. Cover dough with a clean, dry tea-towel and allow to rise for another 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Beat 1 egg to make an egg-wash. Press each raisin down half-way into the dough to ensure they don’t get pushed up and out during baking. Brush each bun with the egg wash. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not over-bake. Enjoy Lussekatter warm.

Source: adapted from Anne’s Food

This recipe will be submitted to YeastSpotting, a great site filled with Wild Yeast recipes.

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

Brunkager

Brunkager

This year I decided to try out a new recipe for Brunkager. I view this recipe as a more modern Brunkage in that, the finished product is a small rectangular cookie instead of the traditional round shape and it has pistachios in addition to almonds. The cookies are very flavorful and delicious and the only problem I had was with the aesthetic outcome. I was not able to find any whole almonds and pistachios, all I could get was almond slivers and unsalted pistachio halves and pieces. Of course now that it’s all said and done I finally found the right kind of nuts…bummer… oh well. As far as the almonds, use what you have, but whole would be perfect. But for the pistachios, I would recommend that if you cannot get whole then don’t bother with it because it really wont give you the beautiful green “wow” effect that whole pistachios would provided.

This recipe also uses Potaske which is a leavening agent commonly used in some Danish baked products. Potaske can be substituted with Baking Soda which is what I used in my previous Brunkager recipe. If you use Baking Soda you can omit the 1 tablespoon cold water. Simply just mix the Baking Soda in with the dry ingredients.

I hope you enjoy these cookies, they are a wonderful addition to any Christmas repertoire.

Brunkager II

Brunkager (makes approx. 110 cookies)

Ingredients:

250 gram butter (8.8 oz.)

125 gram dark syrup (4.4 oz.)

250 gram dark brown sugar (8.8 oz.)

2 teaspoon potaske

1 tablespoon cold water

3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground allspice

500 gram all-purpose flour (17.6 oz.)

30 gram whole unsalted pistachios (1 oz.)

120 gram whole blanched almonds (4 oz.)

Directions:

Using a 20 x 20 centimeter (8 x 8 inch) container, cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to fit inside the dish without it crimping up in the corners. Place parchment paper in a cross fashion with paper extending over the edges. Set aside.

Place butter, syrup and brown sugar in a sauce pan and melt over medium-high heat. Once ingredients are melting, whisk vigorously until it comes together. Remove from heat.

Combine potaske and water, set aside. Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and allspice in the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add potaske/water mixture to the warm butter/syrup mixture. Pour the warm butter/syrup mixture into the flour mixture and mix until a homogeneous mass. Add pistachios and almonds and continue mixing until combined.

While batter is still warm, pour into dish lined with parchment paper and press the mixture into corners and flatten. Cut another piece of parchment paper to fit and place on top of dough. Fold overhanging edges of paper in over batter and allow to cool at room temperature until the following day. Next day, remove dough from dish and cut into 4 logs. If you plan on baking the cookies at this point, cut logs into thin slices and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch space between cookies. Bake in a 180 degree C (350 degrees F) preheated oven for 9 – 12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely before placing in a cookie tin with a tight fitting lid.

If you plan on baking cookies on a later date, wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, place in a zip-loc bag and store them in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Flavors will continue to develop as dough sits. Once ready to bake, allow dough to come to room temperature before slicing and baking.  Merry Christmas and Glædelig Jul.

Brunkager ready for baking

Brunkager ready for baking

Source: adapted from Det Søde Liv

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

Sukkerkringler

In Denmark, the word Kringle refers to the knotted pretzel shape and Danes use this shape for many different baked goods like pastries, breads and cookies. The Kringle symbol has a long history in Denmark and it’s the guild sign for the Danish Baker. Even today, it is often displayed as a golden kringle outside the modern Danish Bakery Shop.

Form into ball the size of a walnut, roll to 6 inches long, shape as a pretzel and dip in sugar.

The Sukkerkringle is a Christmas cookie made in the traditional kringle shape. The dough is very quick and easy to make but the shaping of the cookies does require a little bit of patience (this would be a great activity for the teenager in your house :)) The cookie is soft and delicate and dipped in pearl sugar. The pearl sugar is a bigger sugar crystal which I have found online, however, if you don’t have it in your house you can use crushed sugar cubes and if you don’t have sugar cubes then just use a light coating of regular sugar…you get the idea.

Pearl sugar

Sukkerkringler

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup salted butter

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Pearl sugar for decoration

Directions:

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Place flour, butter, baking powder, egg and whipping cream in a food processor or a large bowl. Mix until combined and a ball of dough is formed, careful not to over-mix. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a small amount of pearl sugar onto a small plate and set aside.

Remove cooled dough from refrigerator and divide into pieces the size of a small walnuts, roll into balls. Sprinkle a very small amount of flour onto your work surface if needed and roll each ball into a 6 inch long rope. Take each end of the dough and curl them up onto the middle of the dough, forming a pretzel shape, gently press a finger into the seam to seal the edges. Lift up the pretzel and place upside down into the pearl sugar, press down gently to make the sugar stick. Place sugar side up onto baking sheet, reshape a little if needed. Bake in the middle of oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing cookies in a cookie tin. Enjoy!

Source: The Great Scandinavian Baking Book

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

Brunede Kartofler – Caramelized Potatoes

Brunede Kartofler is a classic Danish side dish which was always served with Christmas dinner when I was a child.  Of course it was also served occasionally at other times but I think probably most Danes associate the dish with Christmas in particular. The sweetness of the caramelized potatoes is wonderful with the other classic side dish Rødkål (sweet and sour red cabbage) which is slightly tangy and the two dishes are often found on the same table.

When making Brunede Kartofler make sure to watch the sugar so it doesn’t burn and when you add the butter it will bubble up briefly, so please be very careful.

Caramelized Potatoes

Brunede Kartofler

Ingredients:

potatoes (approx 20 small white)

1 cup sugar

5 tablespoon butter

Directions:

Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain potatoes and place in refrigerator to cool. Once potatoes are cold, remove peel. In a pan over medium-low heat melt sugar. Watch sugar carefully so it does not burn. When sugar has melted add butter, please note that it will bubble up, stir to combine. Add potatoes and cook low and slow, gently stirring occasionally until potatoes are warmed through. Enjoy!

Source: My mother Åse Frandsen

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

Red Cabbage

With the holidays quickly approaching it’s time to revisit some classic Danish dishes. Rødkål is a side dish that is always on the table for Christmas dinners and luncheons but of course it is also served at other times. For me though, the sweet and sour aroma with a hint of cloves in the background reminds me of Christmas and it will perfume your house in the most warm and pleasant of ways. The dish itself is very quick and easy to assemble and the remainder of the time is spent simmering away on the stove.

Sliced red cabbage ready for cooking

I have been experimenting with this recipe for some time now and I finally got it right (that’s according to my tastebuds of course :)). The traditional way to make Rødkål is to use Ribssaft (Red Currant juice) but it’s impossible to find it in any of the stores around here, so I am substituting it with 100% Pomegranate juice.

The first time I made Rødkål the ratio of vinegar to pomegranate juice was off with too much vinegar. The second time I could not find any pomegranate juice so I used cranberry juice instead…bad idea. It left a really dry taste in my mouth. In the meantime, my parents came to visit and they brought real Ribssaft with them but it was confiscated going through customs. (Still unclear as to why they couldn’t bring it in, maybe the size of the bottle?) Anyway, two cabbage heads later and with real pomegranate juice and less vinegar, we finally have a winner!

Rødkål

Ingredients:

1 head red cabbage

1 deciliter apple cider vinegar (3.4 oz.)

2 deciliter pomegranate juice (or red currant juice = ribssaft) (6.8 oz.)

3 – 4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 tablespoon butter

Atamon for rinsing glasses

Directions:

Remove outer leaves of cabbage, cut into quarters, remove the tough white core and discard. Slice cabbage into desired thickness. Place cabbage  into cooking pot and add vinegar, juice, sugar, salt and ground cloves. Let it simmer covered for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. At the end of cooking time add the butter and gently stir until melted. If cabbage is to be used fairly quickly, simply just sterilize jars and lids with boiling water. If cabbage is intended for storing away, rinse jars and lids with Atamon. Store in cool, dark place. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

Danish Pebernødder

Danish Pebernødder

This year I am trying out a different version of Pebernødder. There is of course numerous different recipes floating around out there but I came across this one which had some very high praises attached to it. Evidently it is from Lagkagehuset in Denmark which is a renowned bakery with several locations in Denmark.

Pebernødder

This recipe is very good indeed, really it is! However, I had forgotten why I choose my original Pebernødder recipe and it was because I am not a big fan of pepper. It’s not that you can taste the pepper per se but it does leave a slight heat on your tongue, which I don’t particularly care for, but that’s just me. But the Pebernød really is very tasty in itself and it bakes perfectly. So if your like me, I suppose we can simply just leave out the pepper 🙂

Ingredients:

125 grams salted butter, at room temperature (4 3/8 ounces)

125 grams dark brown sugar (4 1/4 ounces)

1/2 deciliter heavy whipping cream (1.7 ounces)

250 grams all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F).

Beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Add cream and beat until combined. Sift together flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Place dough onto lightly floured working surface, knead dough briefly and divide into four smaller portions. Roll each portion out into logs the size of your middle finger. Cut logs into 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) pieces and place on baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until light browned in color. Let cool on baking sheets before storing in an airtight container. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas ♥

Danish Pebernødder

Danish Pebernødder

Source: Maden i mit Liv originally from Lagkagehuset

Read Full Post »

Brunkager

Here is another Cookie which I grew up with. You can buy a version of this in some grocery store, but why on earth do that, when you can fill your house with an intense aroma of cinnamon, cloves and ginger. The Brunkage cookie is crunchy and crisp and to me it’s filled with childhood Christmas memories from a long, long time ago….well, not that long ago 🙂

I’ve been searching for a Brunkage recipe which uses ingredients that I have relative easy access to. Again, there are numerous different ways to make this cookie. This recipe is really straight forward as far as ingredients go, it is easy and quick to make and the cookies are very flavorful. As far as the syrup goes, I did use a Danish dark syrup (mørk sirup, in Danish). However, I did some inquiring about a substitute syrup and the response I got was that Maple syrup will work just fine. So although I have not tried it myself, it should be no problem using Maple syrup. I hope you enjoy this cookies as much as I do!

Brunkage thickness

Ingredients:

200 grams butter (7 ounces), at room temperature

200 grams sugar (7 ounces)

1 deciliter syrup (0.4 cup) (100 milliliter)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

325 – 350 grams flour (11.4 – 12.3 ounces)

1 teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of salt

100 – 125 grams blanched sliced almonds (3.5 – 4.4 ounces)

Directions:

In the bowl of an stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or electrical mixer add butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Add syrup, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, mix until combined. Holding back a small amount of flour for kneading the dough, add the majority of the flour and all of the baking soda, salt and almonds. Mix until combined, careful not to over-mix. Turn dough out onto working surface and using the remaining flour, knead the dough briefly until smooth.  Divide dough into two equal portions and form  two logs 5 centimeters in thickness. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and place in a zip lock bag. Let dough rest in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 176 degrees C (350 degrees F) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice dough into approximately 4-5 mm (0.2 inch) thick slices and bake in the middle of oven for 9-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Store cookies in a cookie tin with a tight-fitting lid. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas 🙂

Mørk Sirup

Source: Kirsten Hüttemeier via Connie Lauridsen Childs

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

World Peace Cookies

This is my second month of participating in The Secret Recipe Club and I was assigned to go sneak around Everyday Insanity’s food blog. Everyday Insanity is a very lovely blog run by Cindy who lives in Utah and who has grown children as well as grandchildren. The blog has an even mix of wonderful savory foods and delicious sweets. Since Christmas is quickly approaching I really wanted to stick with the Christmas theme. When I came across Cindy’s World Peace Cookies I immediately knew what I was making. What could possibly be more appropriate for the Christmas season than World Peace Cookies?

I had already heard wild rumors about how delicious these cookies are and I am here to tell you that the rumors are true. The cookies are fairly simple and quick to make. I did read a piece of good advice which was to remove one tablespoon of flour and it worked out really well. So I measured out 1 1/4 cups flour and then removed 1 tablespoon. The final dough appears a little bit crumbly but simply just press the dough together gently. After the cookies are done baking they may look undercooked to you, but they really are fully cooked so don’t be tempted to over-bake them.

The cookies are slightly crumbly yet a little chewy and wonderful chocolaty with a hint of sea salt. I believe they will become a stable Christmas cookie here at our house. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe Cindy 🙂

World Peace Cookies

Ingredients:

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (11 tablespoons), at room temperature

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

a small 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour – minus 1 tablespoon

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use chips or chocolate that’s chopped into small chocolate chip size)

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add  brown sugar, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Continue to beat for two minutes more, scraping sides of bowl and paddle as needed.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. With the mixer off, add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Pulse the mixer on low about five times, one or two seconds each time. Continue to mix on low-speed just until the flour disappears into the dough, do not over-mix. The dough will look crumbly. Add the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn dough out onto work surface, press it together and divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time, press and gently roll the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, making sure rack is placed in the center of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cold logs into 1/2 inch slices. If the sliced dough cracks, simply just press them together again. Arrange cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes. Do not over-bake cookies even though they may not look done to you. Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack and let cookies rest until room temperature.

Note: the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you are using frozen dough, you do not need to defrost it before baking (although it is a lot easier to slice if it’s defrosted) – just slice the logs into cookies and bake for 1 minute longer. Enjoy!

Source: Cookbookhabit via Everyday Insanity

Print Friendly and PDF



Read Full Post »

Havregrynskugler

Havregrynskugler is a Danish Christmas treat that children of almost all ages can really get involved in making. They are a fun activity and super easy to make and also no-bake.

There are numerous different recipes for Havregrynskugler varying from low-fat to much richer, lower sugar to sweeter as well as adult versions containing alcohol and coffee. I like this version because it does not have a lot of butter, contains Marzipan which I love and it has a slight crunch from the sugar. If you don’t care for the sugar crunch you could substitute with confectioners sugar.

Havregrynskugler

Ingredients:

50 gram unsalted butter, at room temperature (4 tablespoons)

50 gram marzipan (1.75 ounces)

75 gram sugar (2.63 ounces)

125 gram oats (1 1/2 cups)

25 gram unsweetened cocoa (0.87 ounce or 4 tablespoons)

1 -2 teaspoon almond extract

1 -2 teaspoon rum

2 teaspoon seedless raspberry jam

about 100 gram coconut flakes, chopped finely (3.51 ounces)

Directions:

Optional: process oats in a food processor for a few pulses to break up oats a little.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add butter and break marzipan into small pieces, cream together until smooth. Add sugar and continue to beat for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Add oats, cocoa, almond extract, rum and raspberry jam, continue to mix until homogeneous.

Form into small balls by pressing the dough together and rolling in your hands. Immediately roll each ball in the coconut. Place covered in refrigerator. Serve cold. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Kvalimad

Print Friendly and PDF

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: