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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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Chokolade Specier

Chokolade Specier

Chokolader Specier is a traditional Danish Butter Cookie loaded with chopped chocolate. Danish butter cookies have been around since 1933 and I am sure you are familar with the dark blue tins of Royal Dansk Butter cookies being sold in many stores today. Usually I am not a big fan of butter cookies, but add lots of chocolate and you can count me in. These chocolate butter cookies are not overly sweet and the crumb is soft and flaky. I guess, if you stretch your imagination, you could think of these Chokolade Specier as the Danish version of the American Chocolate Chip cookie.

Scrape seeds from Vanilla bean and press into a teaspoon sugar, this will separate the seeds.

Scrape seeds from Vanilla bean and press into 1 teaspoon sugar, this will separate the seeds. Add chocolate and mix to combine. Press dough into logs, chill. Slice and bake.

Chokolade Specier – Chocolate Butter Cookie (makes 60-70 cookies)

Ingredients:

300 gram butter (salted) , at room temperature (10.5 ounces)

125 gram confectioners sugar (4.4 ounces)

375 gram all-purpose flour (13.2 ounces)

seeds from 1 vanilla bean

1 teaspoon sugar

200 gram semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (7 ounces)

Directions:

Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Press the seeds into 1 teaspoon sugar with the flat side of a knife, this is to separate the seeds, set aside.

Using your hands or a mixer, combine butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla bean seeds and flour. When the dough starts to come together add chocolate and mix until combined. Pour dough onto work surface, press the dough together with your hands and then roll into logs 4 centimeter (1.5 inch) wide. Try to work quickly so the warmth from your hands doesn’t alter the chocolate. Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before baking.

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Slice dough into 5-10 millimeter (0.2-0.4 inch) thickness and bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight cookie tin. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas!

Source: adapted from Kager til Kaffen

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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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Honningkage

Honningkage

I bought a package of Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice mix which I have been wanting to try out for quite some time now. The cake turned out very delicious and it was super easy to make. It brought back childhood memories of a wonderful Honningkage that my mother used to make, I’ll have to ask her if she still has that recipe. The spice package is a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice and baking soda so it is a really nice combination of spices. I topped the cake with a little glaze of confectioners sugar and water, which gave it a nice sweet contrast. So if you come across a package of Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice mix, give it a try, it’s really very easy to make and delicious. (Wow, that almost sounded like a commercial, it not though, just a personal recommedation 🙂 )

Honningkage – Honey Cake (makes 2 small or 1 large loaf)

Ingredients:

100 grams butter (or 3.5 oz)

1 1/2 deciliter sugar (or 145 grams or 5.1 oz)

1 deciliter honey (150 grams or 5.3 oz)

1 egg

1 deciliter buttermilk (4 liquid oz or 1/2 liquid cup)

4 deciliter all-purpose flour (235 grams or 8.2 oz)

1 package (15 grams) Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Spray your baking pan of choice with baking spray and set aside. I used 2 small 7 x 2.5 x 1.8 inch pans (approx 17.5 x 6 x 4.5 cm). Melt butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan, remove from heat and let it cool down a little. Beat egg and buttermilk together. Mix honningkage spice package in with the flour. Add honey mixture and flour to the buttermilk in alternating increments. Beat until incorporated, do not over-mix. Pour into baking pan and bake in center of oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. If desired you can serve cake with glasur (mix confectioners sugar with a small amount of cold water). Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Dr. Oetker Honningkage spice package

Honningkage Spice Package

Honningkage Spice Package

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Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter remains one of my all-time favorite Danish pastries and while we were vacationing home in Denmark this summer, I had my fair share of them from the bakery (that, and Træstammer). So after coming home I was looking for an excuse to bake them again and finally got the opportunity when a friend of ours came for a short stay, thanks Vince 🙂

This recipe is not that different from my other post about Hindbærsnitter, it probably differs mostly in technique. The result was a very, very tasty Hindbærsnit, although the cake turned out very delicate and frail. I think that was due to the fact that I interpreted the directions to roll out the dough to a 25 by 30 cm rectangle. Looking back, I think what Lone Landmand (from Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug) meant was to roll the dough out to a 25 or 30 cm square. I believe that if you roll it out to a 25 by 25 cm square you will get a slightly thicker, and therefor a less delicate outcome. If you decide to try this recipe for Hindbærsnitter, I know you’ll love them.

Making Hindbærsnitter

Making Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter (makes 12-16 pieces)

Ingredients:

300 gram all-purpose flour (10.5 oz)

100 gram confectioners sugar (3.5 oz)

200 gram butter, at room temperature (7 oz)

2 large egg yolks

280 gram seedless raspberry jam (10 oz)

For the glaze:

270 gram confectioners sugar (approx 2 1/2 cups)

3-4 tablespoons cold water

Colored sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, confectioner sugar and cut-up butter. On low speed, combine until mixture is crumbly. Add egg yolks one at the time, gradually increasing speed to medium, mix until dough comes together. Divide dough into two equal portions, place each half of dough on a piece of parchment paper and slightly press dough into a square shape. Place both pieces of dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to rest and chill.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (345 degrees F)

Keeping the dough on parchment paper, roll dough out to approximately 25 x 25 cm (9.5 x 9.5 inches), repeat with the second piece of dough. Place each parchment paper with rolled out dough onto a baking sheet. Bake dough, one sheet at the time, for 12 minutes or until edges turn golden. Allow baked cake to cool a little. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing confectioners sugar and water until smooth. Prepare raspberry jam by stirring it to make a loose flowing jam. Spread jam onto the first baked cake, this will be the bottom piece. Gently slide a flexible plastic cutting board under the second cake and lift it up. Then slide it off the cutting board onto the first raspberry covered cake. If the cake crack a little don’t worry, the glaze will cover it up. Spread the glaze over the top and add sprinkles before the glaze sets. Allow glaze to set completely before cutting. Enjoy!

Source: Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug

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Nougatmandler

Nougatmandler

Nougat is a sinfully delicious paste that is used quite often in Denmark. Nougat can be made from sugar or honey, toasted almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and/or pistachios. There are a number of different variations of nougat but the one I am using here is a soft nougat made with hazelnuts.

The melted Nougat is added in three additions and then gently tossed and separated with confectioners sugar.

Nougatmandler is quick and easy to make. Make sure the ceramic bowl you’re using is chilled all the way and be aware that you may have to place the bowl back in the refrigerator for a few minutes, in-between each addition of the warm melted nougat. The final outcome is a crunchy toasted almond  hidden in a soft shell of sweet nougat. Makes for a perfect little snack.

Nougatmandler – Nougat Wrapped Almonds

Ingredients:

100 grams whole almonds with skin on

100 grams nougat

50 grams confectioner sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, place almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove almonds from oven and place in a ceramic bowl in refrigerator until completely cold.

Place confectioner sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Over a waterbath melt the nougat. Bring the cold bowl with almonds out of refrigerator and add 1/3 of melted nougat, stir with a small rubber spatula until nougat starts to set and thicken. Add the second 1/3 of nougat and repeat stirring. Place bowl back into refrigerator between nougat additions if needed. Finally, add the last 1/3 of nougat and repeat stirring. Pour nougat almonds into bowl with confectioners sugar and gently, using your fingers, work the confectioners sugar around each almond. In the end, place almonds into a sieve and gently tap the excess sugar off the almonds. Store almonds a covered container in a cool location. Makes for a wonder snack, enjoy!

Source: Mette Blomsterberg

Soft Nougat

Soft Nougat

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Shrimp Salad With White Asparagus

Shrimp Salad With White Asparagus

For a beautiful, warm spring day like today I think we need a light and delicious Shrimp Salad served on a small slice of French bread. I’ve had my eye on this Shrimp Salad for quite some time now, and today is the perfect day for it. The most important thing about making it, is to make sure that you get as much liquid out of the shrimp and asparagus as possible and that is difficult to do with the fragile marinated asparagus without squashing them. I still ended up with a little too much liquid in mine but the salad was still wonderful and very fresh tasting. Perhaps next time I’ll try in addition to gently patting the asparagus dry, also letting them sit for awhile on some paper towels to try and absorb some more liquid. This is a really nice, refreshing Shrimp Salad with a hint of lemon. Enjoy!

Shrimp Salad With White Asparagus

Ingredients:

200 grams small shrimp (peeled, deveined and cooked)

16-18 thin white asparagus (marinated in water)

1 deciliter Hellmann’s mayo

1 tablespoon ketchup

a small sprinkle of fresh lemon juice

a pinch of ground chili powder

Directions:

If using frozen shrimp, defrost, drain and thoroughly pat dry the shrimp. Remove asparagus from marinade water, place on paper towel and gently pat dry. It is important to remove as much liquid from shrimp and asparagus as possible to avoid a wet shrimp salad. Cut asparagus into bite size pieces. In a small bowl add mayo, ketchup, lemon juice and chili powder, stir. Add shrimp and asparagus to mayo mixture and gently mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with French bread. Enjoy!

Source: Dalsgaard i Skivholme

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