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Posts Tagged ‘12 days of christmas’

Coconut Macaroon

Coconut Macaroon

Coconut Macaroons are one of Joe’s absolute favorite cookies and I am right there with him. They are simply delicious! Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside and they could not be any easier to make. If you like, you can dip the bottom of the cookies in melted chocolate. I do half and half since Joe likes the addition of the chocolate, I however, thinks it takes away from the coconut flavor. Coconut Macaroons do not belong exclusively to Christmas time but they are likely to show up in our house anytime of the year. If you enjoy coconut then I’m sure you’ll love these wonderful little treats.

Coconut Macaroon

Coconut Macaroon

Danish Christmas Tradition: Kalenderlyset (Calendar Candle) and Juledekorationer (Christmas Center Pieces)

In addition to the Advent Reef, in Denmark we also have Calendar Candles which play in important role in the days leading up to Christmas. This tradition became popular under the German occupation in 1942 when Denmark was blanketed in darkness. The candle has the numbers 1 thru 24 printed on it and you light it every day just long enough to burn down one number. Once the candle is burned down to the 24th, it’s Christmas. Back home in Denmark, we would light our calendar candle at the breakfast table and one of us kids got to blow out the candle before it burned down too far.

In Denmark it is also tradition to either buy or make Juledekorationer which are centerpieces with one or multiple candles. My parents always made our own and my Dad really got carried away with this task. We would typically end up with three or four beautiful juledekorationer placed at different locations throughout the house. When making the juledekorationer you can pretty much let your imagination run wild. You can use items like pine cones, cinnamon sticks, small christmas bulbs, bows and fresh greens (pine, holly etc). The juledekoration with its candles bring a calming, beautiful focal point into the room and a sense of that all important Danish “Hygge” (coziness) is created.

This juledecoration was given to me by my Danish friend Kaja

Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups (9 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

Direction:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an insulated baking sheet (or use 2 baking sheets stacked on top of one another).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, flour and vanilla extract until well blended. Stir in coconut.

Using a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon,  drop the dough into mounds on prepared sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes, until they are golden brown around the edges and a few strands of coconut on the tops of the cookie start to turn golden. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Once the cookies are cooled completely, you can dip the bottom of the cookie in melted chocolate, if you desire.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Cookies are best on the day they are made.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Piled like a haystack

Right out of the oven Coconut Macaroon

Source: The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle

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Danish Pebernødder

Danish Pebernødder

Pebernødder is a natural part of Christmas in Denmark and there is almost always a small bowl of Pebernødder accompanying the afternoon or evening coffee/tea time. Pebernødder may also be found in decorative paper cones (kræmmerhuse) which are hung on the Christmas tree and pebernødder are also used in Childrens games. Although Pebernødder can be found in practically any store in Denmark, it’s really a fun activity to bake them at home, espically if you have younger children in your household. Baking with your children at Christmas time is an activity that brings closeness and hygge into the home (“hygge” danish word meaning coziness, togetherness, warmth). Kids love rolling the dough into long rolls and cutting them up into bite size pieces, not to mention the added benefit of getting first dips on tasting the cookies once out of the oven. Baking was one of my favorite activities with my parents when I was growing up and they are memories I’ll treasure forever.

Pebernødder is thought to be the oldest Christmas cookie in Denmark and it came, like so many things, from Germany (Pfeffernussen). Directly translated Pebernødder means pepper nuts. In the old days “to pepper” meant to season and they were reffered to as nuts because there was no baking soda back then and so the cookies were hard like nuts. Todays Pebernødder is not hard like nuts but rather crunchy and mildly spicy. Some Pebernødder recipes will have a small amount of white pepper in them, just enough to leave a warm sensation on your tongue, this one does not. This particular recipe is a little milder with a warm cardamom flavor.

Pebbernødder hygge

Pebernødder dough

Pebernødder

Ingredients:

80 gram salted butter (6 tablespoons)

225 gram sugar (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon)

1 egg

1 deciliter whipping cream (1/2 cup)

350 gram flour (3 cups) (add more flour if needed to bring dough together)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions:

Preheat oven to 225 degrees C (400 degrees F). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cardomom and set aside.

In your mixer using the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add egg and mix. Then add whipping cream and mix. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Remove dough from mixing bowl onto a floured surface. Using your hands bring dough together, adding a little more flour if needed until it holds together and forms a ball. Divide dough into smaller pieces and roll into long rolls measuring the width of your fingers. Cut into 1 1/2 centimeter pieces. Place on baking sheets about 1 inch apart and bake for approximately 12 minutes until just turning golden.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Pebbernødder Christmas parade

Source: Faster Philip

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