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Flagkage - Danish Flag Cake

Flagkage – Danish Flag Cake

Dannebrog is the name of the Danish flag and it is the oldest flag in the world. According to legend, the flag had fallen from the sky during the Battle of Lyndanisse in 1219 and the flag was first recorded on a seal in 1397. Still today, the Danish flag is treasured by the Danish people and is displayed freely at any given occasion, or at no occasion at all. It was very fitting when I made this cake because it just happened to be on my fathers 75th birthday and today that I am posting this, it is my mothers birthday as well. And so “Tillykke med fødselsdagen Far og Mor”!

Making Lime Cream

Making Lime Cream

On Danish TV there is a show called Den Store Bagedyst and it’s almost exactly like the British show The Great British Baking Show, which you may have seen on American TV. Every week the show posts a challenge to the viewers to recreate a particular baked item and this Flag cake is from that challenge.

After baking, cut top of cake off to make it level, cut cake horizontally into two. Trace a 14 cm and 17 cm circle onto parchment paper. I used plates as guides.

After baking, cut top of cake off to make it level, cut cake horizontally into two. Trace a 14 cm and 17 cm circle onto parchment paper. I used plates as guides.

The biggest problem I encountered with this cake, was without a doubt, the gelatin. First, I didn’t have the gelatin sheets which the original recipe called for, so I used gelatin powder instead. Nothing wrong with gelatin powder, but it is always better to use the recommended ingredient whenever possible. As far as the conversion from gelatin sheets to gelatin powder, it is not an exact science and a controversial subject. So I did a little research and came up with this: approx 3 1/2 sheets of gelatin = 1 envelope (7 gram/envelope) gelatin powder. So in the original recipe they called for 7 1/2 sheets and I used 2 envelopes gelatin powder which I figured was close enough. The result was actually good, it was not the intended outcome, but good nonetheless. In the original recipe, after cooling the lime cream they took it out and beat it with a hand-mixer until the cream thickened up. After cooling, my cream was the right thick consistency but I still took a hand-mixer to it, and on low speed I gave it a quick mix just to loosen it up a little. Also, the process I used to dissolve the gelatin powder is not the typical way of doing it, but again, it turned out fine. And one more thing, I left the Lime cream overnight in the refrigerator.

Cutting and assembling cake.

Cutting and assembling cake.

The Flagkage was a challenging and fun project. I thought the Lime cream had a wonderful flavor and a really nice creamy consistency, I loved it. The cake was moist, yet firm enough to hold up to the cutting involved. The only complaint I have is that the cake itself could have had a little more flavor, but the Lime cream made up for it. All in all, if I was to make this cake again, I would replace the cake recipe with a Red Velvet cake recipe and then I think the overall result would be excellent.

Dannebrogskage (Flagkage) – serves 12-16

Ingredients:

Lime filling:

14 gram unflavored gelatin powder (2 envelopes or 0.5 oz)

300 g white chocolate (10.5 oz)

2 vanilla beans

4 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 liter heavy whipping creme (51 fl oz)

3 limes, organic (zest and juice)

Cake:

1 vanilla bean

250 g sugar (8.8 oz)

10 g red food coloring, paste (0.4 oz)

250 g unsalted butter, room temperature (8.8 oz)

7 eggs, room temperature

275 g all-purpose flour (9.7 oz)

10 g cocoa powder (0.4 oz)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 deciliter whole milk (3.4 fl oz)

Directions:

Lime filling:

Chop white chocolate finely and place into large mixing bowl. Cut vanilla bean open lengthwise and scrape seeds out onto a cutting board. Sprinkle the 4 teaspoons of sugar over vanilla seeds and using the flat surface of your knife, press the sugar into the vanilla to separate the seeds. Place vanilla/sugar mixture into chopped white chocolate.

Place heavy whipping creme into saucepan and heat to 80 degrees C (176 degrees F), remove from heat. Pour half of creme into white chocolate and stir until chocolate in completely dissolved. Add the remaining half of the creme and stir. Sprinkle gelatin powder over the surface of warm creme and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir gelatin into creme and continue to stir for another 2 minutes, then allow creme to sit for another 3 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice. Pour creme into a large Ziploc bag, seal and place in in refrigerator. Creme must cool down to at least 5 degrees C (41 degrees F) before assembling cake.

Cake:

Spray a 23 cm (9 inch) round spring-form baking pan with baking spray. Cut out a round circle of parchment paper and place it in the bottom of pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (330 degrees F).

Cut vanilla bean longways, scrape out seeds, sprinkle with a small amount of the sugar and press vanilla and sugar together to separate vanilla seeds. Place vanilla/sugar back into bowl with remaining sugar.

Beat butter, sugar/vanilla sugar and food color until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at the time, making sure to beat very well in between each egg.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Gradually fold in dry ingredients, alternating with the milk until batter is homogeneous. Pour batter into baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Test cake for doneness by using a wooden skewer. Skewer should come out clean when inserted deep into center of cake. Let cake cool down completely before continuing with assembly.

Assembly:

While cake is cooling, cut out two circle of parchment paper measuring 14 cm (5 1/2 inches) and 17 cm (6 3/4 inch).

Once the cake has cooled, cut off the slightly curved top of the cake to level the cake surface out. Then cut the cake horizontally into two even layers. We will call these two layers A and B.

Wash and dry the spring-form pan, set aside.

First take cake layer A and place it back into the clean spring-form pan. Place the 17 cm paper circle onto the center of the cake and using a small sharp knife, cut down through the cake all the way around the circle. Now place the 14 cm circle onto the center of the same cake A and cut down through the cake all the way around the circle. Remove the cake which was in between the two circle, this will form an open “ditch” or space which will later hold the lime cream. You should now have an outer ring of cake and a solid center of cake.

Leaving cake layer B on your work surface, repeat cutting out the circles and removing the excess cake to create the “ditch”. This is done the same way we did cake layer A.

Remove cold Lime cream from refrigerator. Using a hand-mixer, give Lime cream a quick little beating, careful not to over-mix. Over-mixing will cause cream to separate. The cream should have a piping consistency. Load cream into two large piping bags, one of which is fitted with a piping tip of your choice. Place bag with piping tip back into refrigerator.

Using the bag without the piping tip first, cut off tip of bag. Start by piping enough cream into the “ditch” or space between the circles of cake layer A. Then pipe a layer of cream out over the entire surface of cake layer A. Using an offset spatula, smooth out cream to the edges of spring-form pan. Carefully place the outer cake circle of cake layer B on top of cream, this forms the outer circle. Then place the center cake circle on top of the cream. Again pipe cream into the “ditch” or space between the two circles. Then pipe a thin layer of cream over the top of the cake. It is fine if you see crumbs through this layer. Place cake back into refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.

Once cake has cooled enough to where it can be moved, release spring-form and move cake to your serving platter. Using the piping bag fitted with the piping tip, start decorating your cake in whatever fashion you please. Keep cake refrigerated. Remove cake from refrigerator 20 minutes prior to serving.  Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Den Store Bagedyst

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Romkugler

Romkugler

Romkugler is a classic Danish dessert which is always on my “to indulge in” list when I go back home for a visit. I love these little balls. They used to be made from left-over cake in the bakery to avoid waste, but I imagine nowadays cakes are probably made specifically for this purpose. So next time you have some left-over cake (yeah right, who has left-over chocolate cake) toss it into the freezer, and then when your ready, make Rum Balls. Your family will love you for it.

It took me a little while to figure out the best process for making the sprinkles stick. The original recipe did not use chocolate to make the sprinkles stick, and without the chocolate, they just don’t stick very well. First I tried dipping the ball into the melted chocolate, but it was too much chocolate and it took way too many sprinkles to cover the ball. Then I simply just dipped the ball into the chocolate halfway, and used my fingers to smir a thin chocolate coating all over the ball. Then I tossed it into the sprinkles, and the sprinkles stuck perfectly to the ball. Traditionally the sprinkles are chocolate sprinkles, but it can be any kind, any color sprinkles, coconut or chopped nuts, whatever you like. You can also use real rum instead of imitation rum but I think the flavor is much better with the imitation rum.

Romkugler

Romkugler

Romkugler – Danish Rum Balls (makes approx 25)

Ingredients:

200 g (7 oz) left-over chocolate cake

50 g (1.75 oz) marzipan

1 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa

100 g (3.5 oz) semi-sweet chocolate, divided

1 tablespoon raspberry preserves, seedless

1 tablespoon imitation rum

100 g (3.5 oz) sprinkles

Directions:

Give chocolate a quick chop, divide into half (two 50 gram portions) and set aside.

Using a food processor or a hand-mixer, process left-over cake, marzipan and cocoa until crumbly. Melt the first half portion of chocolate in microwave or over a water-bath until smooth. Add melted chocolate, raspberry preserve and imitation rum to cake crumbs, mix until combined. Roll into small balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Melt the second half of chocolate in microwave or over a water-bath until smooth. Take one ball at the time, dip halfway into melted chocolate and using your fingers, smear chocolate around ball to make it sticky. Toss ball into sprinkles and turn to cover with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls. Place balls onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate. Store in covered Tupperware container, keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

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Mørdej - Shortcrust

Mørdej – Shortcrust

Shortcrust dough is very quick and easy to make and it’s used for both sweet and savory dishes (pies, tarts and quiches). This particular dough has sugar in it, so I would reserve it for a sweet dish. The process I describe here is using a food processor, but if you don’t have a food processor, the dough can also be made simply by using your hands. If you choose this method, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the butter from heating up. Then add the egg to bring the dough together, careful not to over-work the dough. Hint: when I roll out the dough, I roll it out on a piece of cling wrap. It makes for easy lifting and moving of the rolled out dough.

Making Mørdej

Making Mørdej

Ingredients: (makes enough dough for a 9 or 11 inch pan – 23 or 28 cm)

300 grams all-purpose flour (10.5 oz)

175 grams butter, cold (6 oz)

75 grams confectioners sugar (2.6 0z)

1 egg

Directions:

Place flour, butter and confectioners sugar into a food processor and process until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg and pulse only until dough starts to come together, careful not to over-work dough. Place dough onto your work surface and press dough into a flattened disc. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Once ready to use, roll dough out to the desired thickness. Spray pan with baking spray and fit the dough against the bottom and sides of pan. Trim the dough even with the top of pan or fold dough into a border. Re-refrigerate dough for another 10-15 minutes before baking.

Baking time and temperature will depend on what you are filling the pie/tart with. Follow your recipe for baking time and temperature.

If you want to blind bake (pre-bake) the dough before filling it, preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). Place parchment paper or foil over dough, fill with rice, beans or pie weights to prevent dough from bubbling up. Bake for 20 minutes, remove paper and weights and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until golden. Cool crust before filling.

Source: adapted from Kager til Kaffen

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Smørrebrød with egg and tomato

Smørrebrød with egg and tomato

Here is a piece of smørrebrød (classic Danish open-faced sandwich) which I think is perfect for this time of year, Spring! It’s made with egg and tomato, my two favorite sandwich ingredients, but also with salad shrimp, cucumber and lumpfish caviar. This is so perfect for a beautiful spring day, eaten in the warm sun and enjoyed it with an ice cold beer (or your other favorite beverage). If you need a recipe to make your own Rugbrød (Rye bread), I have one with a sour dough starter and one without sour dough.

ÆggemadWeb

Making Smørrebrød with egg and tomato

Smørrebrød with Egg and Tomato (1 piece)

Ingredients:

1 piece of rye bread

butter, optional

boston lettuce

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced

salad shrimp, drained and patted a little dry

mayonnaise

1 small tomato

cucumber, sliced

lumpfish caviar

Directions:

Butter bread, if desired. Layer bread with lettuce, egg slices and shrimp. Add a generous amount of mayonnaise. Top with tomatoes and cucumber. Garnish with caviar. Enjoy with an ice cold beer.

Source: slightly adapted from danishsandwich.com

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Hasselnød Kage Med Nougat Creme

Hasselnød Kage Med Nougat Creme

I just hosted a Danish dinner party for my Danish friends and since it is close to Easter I wanted to make a dessert with a seasonal feel to it. I came across this layered cake and not only does it look like a pretty Easter cake but it has all the good things in it that is popular in Danish baking; hazelnuts, Nougat and Marzipan, what’s not to like? As for the special ingredients, I buy Nougat and Marzipan online (I use Odense Ren Rå Marcipan), and the hazelnuts I found in a specialty grocery store.

Process hazelnuts, make meringue and fold in ground hazelnuts, bake

Process hazelnuts, make meringue and fold in ground hazelnuts, bake

A little note about hazelnuts. Hazelnut is a sweet nut with a dark brown skin covering which is bitter and if left on, it may leave unpleasant little left-over pieces in your mouth. So when hazelnuts are used for baking, you may want to remove this skin covering, although it is not absolutely necessary.

Melt Nougat in hot cream, cool, mix whipped cream with Nougat to make frosting

Melt Nougat in hot cream, cool, mix whipped cream with Nougat to make frosting

This is not a difficult cake to make, maybe a little time consuming, and it is one of the best layered cakes I have ever made (with the exception of my all-time favorite Othello layered cake of course). I think you will really love this cake!

Hazelnut Cake With Nougat Cream  (serves 12-14)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

100 g hazelnuts, out of shell (3.5 oz)

175 g Odense Marzipan (6.2 oz)

100 g confectioner sugar (3.5 oz)

30 g all-purpose flour (1 oz)

6 egg whites, room temperature

125 g sugar (4.4 oz)

For the frosting:

6 deciliter heavy whipping cream, divided into 2 and 4 deciliters (20.3 liquid ounces, divided into 6.8 and 13.5)

300 g soft Nougat (10.5 oz)

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1 tablespoon boiling water

Decorations:

Cadbury mini chocolate eggs

Directions:

To removed skin on hazelnuts: preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until skin begins to crack and is golden. Remove from oven and wrap nuts in a clean dishtowel, let sit wrapped for 10 min. Using the towel, rub the nuts vigorously until the skin comes off. Set nuts aside.

Cut out two pieces of parchment paper to fit two 9 inch (23 cm) spring-form pans. Place parchment paper in bottom of pans and spray with baking spray, set aside.

Preheat oven to 280 degrees F (140 degrees C).

Place hazelnuts, marzipan, confectioners sugar and flour in a food processor and process until ground finely.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks, add sugar and whip until you have a thick meringue.

Add ground hazelnuts to meringue and gently fold-in until you have a homogeneous batter. Divide the batter equally between the two pans and bake for 1 hour. Allow cakes to cool in pans.

Place 2 deciliter whipping cream into a small saucepan and heat to just a simmer. Cut Nougat into pieces and add to hot cream, melt while stirring. Heat 1 tablespoon water in the microwave until boiling (10-15 seconds), add instant coffee and stir to resolve. Add coffee to Nougat mixture. Place Nougat in refrigerator to cool completely.

When ready to assemble cake, whip remaining 4 deciliter whipping cream until beaters start leaving traces in cream. Add cooled Nougat mixture and mix to combine. Place first cake onto serving platter. Spread a layer of Nougat cream over cake. Place second cake on top and spread remaining cream on top and down the sides of cake to cover. Decorate with chocolate eggs if desired. Continue to cool in refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Removing skin off hazelnuts

Removing skin off hazelnuts

Source: Odense Marcipan

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Rugbrød uden Surdej

Rugbrød uden Surdej

Making and maintaining a Sourdough starter can be really overwhelming and intimidating to a lot of people, so I have been on the lookout for an alternative, and here it is. No Sourdough starter needed! However, it does need yeast, but the only thing you have to be aware of when using active dry yeast, is that the liquid temperature must be between 100-110 degrees F. If the temperature is above 110 degrees, you’ll kill the yeast. Do you have one of those small meat thermometers? Good, use it to check the liquid temperature. If you have a digital thermometer, even better.

Making Rugbrød dough

Making Rugbrød dough

Now you need a warm spot to allow the dough to rise and in the summertime that may not be a problem, but your house may not be very warm during the winter. To solve this problem I usually use my oven. It’s a small enclosed space and if you turn on the oven to 200 degrees for 30 seconds and then shut the heat off, it will be enough heat to turn the oven into a little warm space for the dough. But remember I said seconds, not minutes, and make sure you turn the oven OFF.

Dough rising in bowl x 2 hours. Dough rising in bread pans x 30 plus minutes.

Dough rising in bowl x 2 hours. Dough rising in bread pans x 30 plus minutes.

As for the outcome of this bread, I was really pleased with it. The bread turned out moist and super delicious, yet you have the wonderful chew of the seeds. A great bread without the hassle of making and maintaining a Sourdough starter. What’s not to like.

Rugbrød Uden Surdej – Rye Bread Without Sourdough (makes 2 loafs)

Ingredients:

250 g cracked rye (8.8 oz)

750 g dark rye flour (26.5 oz)

325 g whole wheat flour (11.5 oz)

7 dl warm water (23.7 fluid oz)

7 g active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)

2 dl buttermilk (6.7 fluid oz)

2 tablespoon dark syrup

1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt

50 g sunflower seeds (1.8 oz)

50 g flax seeds (1.8 oz)

50 g sesame seeds (1.8 oz)

Directions:

Spray two bread pans with baking spray, set aside. I used a Danish size 13 x 4 x 4 inch (33 x 10 x 10 cm) and an American size 9 x 6 x 3 inch (22 x 15 x 7 cm).

Place cracked rye into a bowl and pour some boiling water over, enough to cover. Let sit for 25 minutes, then pour into a sieve and allow to drain for 5-10 minutes.

Take a small amount of the 7 dl warm water, maybe 2 dl or so (6 fluid oz), place into a small dish and make sure the temperature is between 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C). Sprinkle active dry yeast over water, give a quick little stir and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.

To a large mixing bowl, add remaining warm water, yeast/water mixture, buttermilk, dark syrup and sea salt. Using the dough hook start mixing on medium-low speed. Add sunflower, flax and sesame seeds. Add drained cracked rye. Then add whole wheat flour and dark rye flour in 1/3 increments, scraping down sides as you go along. Once flour is fully incorporated, increase mixer speed to medium-high and mix for 6 minutes.

Scrape down sides of bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea towel and place in a warm location to rise for 2 hours. Divide the dough equally between the two prepared bread pans (approx 3/4 full). Place back into warm location, cover with  tea towel and allow to rise to the rim of the bread pan, approx 30-50 minutes. Before baking, pierce the dough with a thin skewer 15-20 times. Brush top of dough with an oil/water mixture and bake in a 400 degrees F preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. If your bread begins to brown too fast, place a loose piece of foil over pan and finish baking. After baking allow bread to cool to a slightly warm temperature. Place bread inside a plastic bag. The condensation inside the bag will help soften the hard outer crust. Once completely cooled, remove the bread from the moist bag, wipe the bag dry before placing the bread back into the bag. The bread is now ready for slicing or freezing. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Klappeklappekage

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Homemade Bounty Bars

Homemade Bounty Bars

In Denmark you can buy Bounty candy bars which is a coconut filling covered in chocolate. Essentially it’s like a Mounds or Almond Joy candy bar. Since my husband and I are both big coconut lovers, we have been dragging these chocolate bars across the Atlantic ocean for years. But guess what, you can make them yourself and they are so easy to make. Not to mention, they taste just like a Bounty bar. So now we can stop dragging them back to the US and we’ll have more room in our luggage for my Danish liquorice.

Homemade Bounty Bars with cracker base

Homemade Bounty Bars with cracker base

I made a little variant here from the traditional Bounty bar because Joe suggested that he would like a little crunch to the bars, so I added a Graham cracker base which turned out really good. The only disadvantage to the addition of a cracker base, is that the base do get soft with 2 days. So if you are planning on having them around the house for a week or so, then I would leave out the crackers.

Bounty Bars

Ingredients:

240 g (8.5 oz) unsweetened coconut, fine shred

396 g (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

300 g (10.6 oz) chocolate, melting wafers

4-5 sheets graham crackers (optional)

Directions:

In a bowl, combine coconut and sweetened condensed milk. Stir to combine.

If you are not using graham crackers: simply just take a small amount of coconut mixture and shape into a rectangle (mine were 6 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm or approx 2.5 x 1 x .5 inches) or whichever shape your heart desires. Place in refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

If you are using the graham crackers: they come in sheets with four crackers. Using a serrated knife, gently saw the sheets into crackers at the perforated line. Take a small amount of coconut mixture, place on top of cracker and shape to fit the cracker. Repeat with remaining coconut and crackers. Place in refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

Melt chocolate wafers either over a water-bath or in the microwave (10 second increments). Once melted, place each bar on a fork and holding it over the bowl, pour a spoonful of melted chocolate over, making sure sides are coated. Then dip the fork with the bar still on top of it, into the melted chocolate to coat the bottom. Slide the bar off the fork onto a baking sheet and allow to set. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Madling

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Kærnemælksuppe

Kærnemælksuppe

Kærnemælksuppe is an old-fashioned Danish soup which I had forgotten all about, until the topic came up on a Facebook page. I have very fond memories of this soup which I absolutely love and I think we typically had it as a dessert although I think we may also have had it for dinner. Reading some of the comments online about Kærnemælksuppe, it appear that a lot of people don’t like this soup, maybe it’s an acquired taste? In any case, buttermilk is a special tasting dairy product, it’s tart. But with the combination of sweet vanilla pudding, a little extra sugar which is optional and raisins, the heated buttermilk becomes down-right delicious, at least to me.

Kærnemælksuppe – Warm Buttermilk Soup (makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

16 fl. oz buttermilk (470 ml)

4 tablespoons vanilla flavored instant pudding (Jell-O for example)

1 tablespoon sugar (optional for extra sweetness)

a handful raisins

Directions:

Mix 1/2 of the buttermilk with pudding powder and sugar (optional), using a hand-mixer beat until it starts to thicken. Pour remaining 1/2 of buttermilk into a small saucepan and turn heat to medium. Add thickened buttermilk/pudding mixture and raisins to saucepan, stirring occasionally bring to a simmer. Serve hot and Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Vaniljekranse a la Blomsterberg

Vaniljekranse a la Blomsterberg

This year I wanted to try a different Vaniljekranse recipe for Christmas, although my Mom’s recipe still remains my favorite. When I saw Mette Blomsterberg’s recipe I wanted to try it because, #1 she is a very talented Danish pastry chef and #2 this recipe says you can use a pastry bag with a star shaped decorating tip to press out the cookies. This is of particular interest for those of you who don’t have the traditional star attachment for a KitchenAid machine (which I know is a great fustration to many Danes living outside Denmark). And so I tried it out and it is possible to press the cookies out using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, however, I didn’t have the muscle to continue on with it. So unless you have a very strong and preferably handsome mountain man handy to help you out, I think you might have a hard time.

Making Vaniljekranse using a pastry bag with a star decorating tip.

Making Vaniljekranse using a pastry bag with a star decorating tip.

Lets talk a little bit about butter. This year I was lucky enough to find real Danish Lurpak butter at a local high-end grocery store. It is expensive, but the result is a wonderful, very creamy buttery taste to your cookies. Is it worth the extra cost? To most people, probably not, but it sure is a fantastic creamy butter. Also, I want to point out that when you bake in Denmark it is a given that you use salted butter, whereas in the US you typically bake with unsalted butter, unless otherwise stated, and then a little salt is built into the recipe on the side. Just worth noting (it actually took me 28 years to realize this, ha).

Creamy Danish Lurpak butter

Creamy Danish Lurpak butter

Vaniljekranse (makes about 35 cookies)

Ingredients:

1 whole vanilla bean

180 grams sugar

200 grams salted butter, room temperature

1 egg, room temperature

75 grams almond meal/flour

250 grams all-purpose flour

Directions:

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and press the seeds into a tablespoon of the sugar. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla seeds until smooth and creamy (4-5 minutes). Add the egg and continue mixing until fully incorporated. In small increments, add almond meal and flour, mix until dough comes together.

If you plan on using a piping bag with a star tip to press out dough and form into circles, roll up your sleeves and use dough immediately.

If you plan on using a star attachment for you KitchenAid mixer, wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigeator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into small segments and load the dough into the meat grinder attachment on your KitchenAid machine. Run the dough through the star attachment into long strips, place dough onto baking sheet and cut dough into 4 inch long pieces and form into circle. Bake in the middle of oven for 10-14 minutes or until just turning golden. Cool on baking sheets for a couple of minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Once cookies are completely cooled, store in an airtight cookie tin.

Merry Christmas and Enjoy.

Star attachment on KitchenAid meat grinder.

Star attachment on KitchenAid meat grinder.

Source: adapted from Mette Blomsterberg

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Marzipan with Nougat balls

Marzipan with Nougat balls

Making confections is one of many Christmas activities that is popular in Denmark and it’s especially fun to make with your children, not to mention delicious to eat. To make the chocolate dipping less cumbersome I used a plastic fork and broke off the middle two digits to allow the chocolate to drip off more easily. I made half a batch with rainbow sprinkles and half without. The sprinkles add a crunch and a fun splash of color but you can use any kind of covering you like, for example, finely chopped nuts, freeze dried raspberries or coconut, just let your imagination run wild. Have fun making these.

Making Christmas confection

Making Christmas confection

Marzipan with Nougat Confections (makes 16 pieces)

Ingredients:

100 gram Marzipan (3.5 oz.)

50 gram Nougat (1.75 oz.)

200 gram chocolate (7 oz.) melted, milk or dark your choice

50 gram Rainbow Nonpareils (1.75 oz.) optional

Directions:

Melt chocolate over a water bath. Cut off small pieces of marzipan and flatten to a disc with your fingers. Place a small amount of nougat in the center of marzipan and close the marzipan around nougat to form a ball. Dip the ball into the melted chocolate, drip off excess and toss the chocolate covered ball in the rainbow sprinkles. Place on a baking sheet to cool and harden. Store in airtight tin. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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