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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. GlĂŚdelig Jul and Merry Christmas.

Honninghjerte

Honninghjerte

Source: Claus Meyer

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Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been on the hunt for a go-to-cookie for a long time now. One that fits anytime of the year, one that is quick and easy to make and I think I have finally found one. I have made these both with and without the walnuts, not everybody like nuts you know, and they are equally good with and without. They tend to spread out a little more without the nuts, but that’s OK. These cookies have a wonderful background flavor of brown sugar, which reminds me of a Blondie, and the combination of walnuts and cranberries gives them a slight crunch and makes them nice and soft, all at the same time. These cookies are definitely a keeper and I think you’ll really enjoy them as well.

IMG_4909

Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (360 grams)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, room temperature (226 grams)

3/4 cup sugar (155 grams)

1 cup packed brown sugar (185 grams)

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (280 grams)

1 1/2 cup dried cranberries (140 grams)

1 cup chopped walnuts (112 grams)

Directions:

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. Cream butter and sugars until smooth and soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, scrape down sides of bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour in three increments and mix only until fully incorporated. Add chocolate chips, cranberries and chopped walnuts, mix only until incorporated. Working quickly, roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls (approx. 4 cm), place on prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart (5 cm). If dough feels very soft when rolling, place baking sheet with dough balls in refrigerator for 5 minutes before baking. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until done. Cool and baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Enjoy!

Freshly baked Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freshly baked Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: adapted from Bakerella

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

The sweltering Virginia summer heat is finally over (for the most part) and Fall has officially arrived. This is my favorite time of year, when the air become crisp, instead of moist, and the temperature cools into the 70s and 80s. This time of year, Virginia displays some of the most brilliant blue skies and if your lucky enough to take a trip into the mountains, the Autumn colors are simply amazing. And lets not forget about Pumpkin…pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies and I could go on and on. This is pumpkin season! So I couldn’t wait any longer, I just had to make something with pumpkin and so here are some delicious pumpkin muffins. They have chocolate chips in them, which my husband is happy as a clam about. Me on the other hand, think the chocolate chips take away from the wonderful pumpkin flavor. So if you are a pumpkin lover, like myself, you may want to consider substituting the chocolate chips for some chopped walnuts or pecans. Or if your loved one is a chocolate-chippaholic then the chocolate chips will be perfect 😉

On another note, I wanted to share these videos with you. A couple of weeks ago, Joe and I went on a weekend getaway to Ocean City, Maryland to visit with family. On one evening, we had seen a fox in the dunes below the fourth floor condo we were staying at and when I got up at dawn to capture the sunrise with my camera, I was able to film a family of three foxes playing with one another. It was a magical moment to watch them play while the sun was rising. I never imagined that foxes would be living by the beach.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:

195 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

113 grams unsalted butter (1/2 cup) (at room temperature)

200 grams sugar (1 cup)

2 large eggs (at room temperature)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

180 milliliter solid packed canned pumpkin puree (3/4 cup)

175 grams semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 177 degrees C (350 degrees F). Place baking rack in the middle of oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt, set dry ingredients aside.

Using your stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Make sure to scrape down sides of bowl as you go along. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add sifted dry ingredients and pumpkin puree. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups evenly with batter. Place in the middle of oven and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.

Source: Joy of Baking

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Davidson Hall at Campbell Folk School, Kitchen, Music and "Wet Studios

Davidson Hall at J. C. Campbell Folk School where the Kitchen, Music and “Wet” Studios are located.

Back in 2005 Joe and I attended a week long seminar at J. C. Campbell Folk School which is located in the beautiful Appalachian mountains in Brasstown NC. The campus is set in the most secluded environment and it is easily navigated with numerous trails for an early morning walk. Each day begins with the tradition of Morningsong which is a combination of music and folklore, a great way to start your morning. Meals are served family style in the Dinning Hall which is a great opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life. The campus also has a charming History center and a wonderful Craft Shop which features pottery, handwoven items, jewelry, wood crafts and ironwork. Back in 2005 Joe took a Viking Blacksmithing class and I took a Scandinavian baking class and it turned out to be one of those fantastic experiences that stays with you forever. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I was approached by Campbell Folk School to come down and teach the Scandinavian baking/cooking class during their Scandinavian Heritage week during March 2013.

Director of J. C. Campbell Folk School Jan Davidson performing Morningsong. It's a wonderful beginning to your morning, each day Morningsong is led by someone different.

Director of J. C. Campbell Folk School Jan Davidson performing Morningsong. It’s a wonderful beginning to your morning and each day Morningsong is led by someone different.

Evening entertainment

I didn’t catch their names but they were great. If anyone knows who they are please let me know.

David Baker taught the Kaleidoscope class and he was a riot, a real viking :)

David Baker taught the Kaleidoscope class and he was a riot, a real viking 🙂

Local Fireman doing Morningsong and smartly incorporating fire prevention into his routing.

Local Fireman J. D. Robinson doing Morningsong and smartly incorporating fire prevention into his routine.

The class turned out to be a really good group which meshed together very nicely. There were five wonderful ladies, all with fantastic personalities: Lucrecia, Paula B, Paula C, Roberta and Lynn Ann and then we had one gentleman named Mark which turned out to be a really funny and pleasant feller.

Our class left to right: Paula, Roberta, Lucrecia, Lynn Ann, Gitte, Mark and Paula

Our class left to right: Paula, Roberta, Lucrecia, Lynn Ann, Gitte, Mark and Paula

For the class I had prepared recipes which were Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish in origin and the class was set up to be predominantly baking with one full day of cooking savory foods.

Mark making Pebernødder

Mark making Pebernødder

Roberta and Paula making Norwegian Julekake

Roberta and Paula carefully following a recipe

Lynn Ann making Æbleskiver, they were delicious!

Lynn Ann making Æbleskiver, they were delicious!

Lucrecia and Paula made the classic Othellolagkage. They did an outstanding job.

Lucrecia and Paula made the classic Othellolagkage. They did an outstanding job.

Here are a few pictures of some of the baked goods the class made. We made a lot more than this but I didn’t get pictures of everything.

Othellolagkage

Othellolagkage, a true masterpiece!

Campbell 2 (42)

Making HindbĂŚr Roulade

Campbell 2 (52)

Swedish Lussekatter, before baking.

Campbell 2 (60)

Birkes with Remonce.

Campbell 5 (5)

Kringle pastry

Campbell 5 (6)

Æbleskiver, the only thing missing is a warm glass of Gløgg.

Campbell 5 (8)

Finnish Christmas Stars.

Campbell 6 (3)

Norwegian Krumkake, they were served with vanilla and chocolate filling. Very popular!

Campbell 6 (4)

Scandinavian Toscakake.

Campbell 6 (6)

Kiksekage, very decadent.

The Fiddle class stopped in and serenaded us. They were well fed.

The Fiddle class stopped in and serenaded us. They were well fed.

Midweek is when we cooked the savory foods leading up to our dinner party on Wednesday evening. I wanted them to experience small samples of typical Danish foods and there were some hesitation and a lot of joking 🙂 about eating Marinated Herring and Liver Pate in particular, but I think all in all, they really did like those foods. Our dinner that evening turned out to be a lot of fun and it was a real pleasure meeting everyone’s significant others and family members.

Our dinner party.

Our dinner party.

The menu consisted of a mixture of different food:

Smørrebrød with Danish Rye Bread (Rugbrød), Marinated Herring (Sild) and homemade Curry Salad (Karrysalat)

Smørrebrød with Rye Bread, Liver pate (Leverpostej), fried mushrooms and bacon

Meatballs (Frikadeller) with Red Sweet and Sour Cabbage (Rødkül) and Caramelized Potatoes (Brunede Kartofler)

Ris a La Mande with warm Cherry Sauce (Ris a La Mande with KrisebĂŚr Sovs)

Lucrecia stirred and stirred the Risengrød so it wouldn't burn. I think we should have given her some sort of "best stirring" award :)

Lucrecia stirred and stirred the Risengrød so it wouldn’t burn. She deserved some sort of “stirring” award 🙂

Campbell 3 (5)

Making “oh so wonderful” Liver Pate.

Campbell 3 (10)

Danish Smørrebrød with Marinated Herring and homemade Curry Salad (Karrysalat).

Friday afternoon was the closing ceremony and all the different classes put on a display of what they had been making during the week. As for our class, we spent the morning baking so we could provide samples of some delicious special treats to all the other students and instructors. All of the samples were gone within fifteen minutes and we got great reviews on our baked goods. Great job Guys! 🙂

Scandinavian Baking Class, Closing Ceremomy

Scandinavian Baking Class at the Closing Ceremony

The Fiddle class provided entertainment at the Closing Ceremony.

The Fiddle class provided entertainment at the Closing Ceremony.

Viking Style Ironwork

Viking Style Ironwork

Thread Art

Thread Art

Norwegian Rosemaling

Norwegian Rosemaling

Birch Bark Basketry

Birch Bark Basketry

Nordic Knitting

Nordic Knitting

Woodturning

Woodturning

Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes

Figure Carving

Figure Carving

Weaving

Weaving

Norwegian Bentwood Boxes

Norwegian Bentwood Boxes

Needle Felting

Needle Felting

I wanted to say thank you to all of my students for being so pleasant and I hope you enjoyed tasting all the delicious treats we made. I also wanted to say thank you to Carla Owen who initially approached me to teach at the Folk School and to Nanette Davidson for all of your help and the generous offer you extended to me. I thank all of you!

The Easter Bunny also made an appearance at the Folk School.

The Easter Bunny also made an appearance at the Folk School. (David Baker in disguise)

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Perfect Pie Crust

The Holiday season is upon us and with so many foods to be baked and cooked it is really tempting to use a store-bought pie crust instead of making your own. However, this pie crust is both delicious and quick and easy to make…so why use a store-bought? This Perfect Pie Crust comes out light and flaky and it contains more butter than vegetable shortening (which I like) plus it can easily be made a day ahead saving you precious time on your busy day 🙂

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar (plus more for sprinkling)

1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening

6-8 tablespoons ice water (about 1/2 cup)

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Directions:

Measure out ahead of time the vegetable shortening and place in refrigerator to allow to get very cold.

Dice the butter and place back in refrigerator until ready to use. Place flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the cold butter and shortening. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas (8-12 pulses). With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube. Continue to pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. Divide dough into two equal parts and form each dough ball into a slightly flattened disk. Wrap each dough disk tightly in plastic wrap and store in a large zip-loc bag. Place dough in refrigerator until ready to use. Can easily be stored in refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make your pie, make sure your work surface is well-floured. Place first disk on floured surface and roll out into a circle, making sure to frequently move and flip the dough, adding more flour as needed to ensure dough does not stick to work surface. Gently roll dough onto rolling-pin and lift to pie dish letting the dough extend over the edges. When fitting the dough into the baking dish, do not stretch dough as it will shrink a little during baking. Fill with pie filling and brush the edge of dough with egg wash so top dough will adhere. Roll out second dough disk and place on top of filled pie. Trim the edges to about 1/2 inch over the rim. Crimp the two layers of dough together using your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Cut four or five small slits in dough to allow venting. Place on a baking sheet and bake pie at 400 degrees. The baking instructions I had said to bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until the crust is browned. However, oven temperatures may vary and my pie was done in just 45 minutes so I would recommend to watch the pie like a hawk while baking or if your oven tend to run a little on the hot side, perhaps lower the temperature.

Perfect Pie Crust

Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style

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Whoopie Pumpkien Pies

Whoopie Pumpkien Pies

Fall is quickly approaching and I am starting to see pumpkins and Halloween decorations all over the place. If you follow my blog then you know that I am a huge pumpkin fan. I love everything pumpkin…pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and now…Whoopie Pumpkin Pies. I found these little babies in Food Network Magazine and the recipe moved straight to the top of my very long “to do” list. (Do you notice how these “to do” lists never get any shorter) Anyway, these Whoopie pies are wonderful!

When I was making the cookie batter I got a little worried because, after I added the buttermilk, it looked like the batter was starting to separate. But once I started adding the dry ingredients everything came together beautifully, so no need to worry. Also, the flavor of the filling slowly intensifies so these can easily be made a day in advance. I wrapped each cookie in plastic wrap to keep them fresh and to prevent them from sticking together, then in a large Tupperware container and into the refrigerator. I also took half of the finished cookies and stuck them in the freezer. It turns out that they freeze really well, just let them thaw in the refrigerator. I hope you enjoy these babies as much as we have.

Whoopie Pumpkin Pies

Whoopie Pumpkin Pies

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of kosher salt

For the filling:

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the cookies: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.

Drop 2 tablespoons of batter for each cookies to be made, onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter 3 inches apart. Bake until edges are set but the cookies are still soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.

To make the filling: Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners sugar. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon and salt and beat until smooth.

To assemble the cookies, spread a heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of one cookie and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Enjoy.

Source: Food Network Magazine, The Neelys’

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My Mom and Dad’s old julestjerne hangs in my window every Christmas

First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone for all of your nice comments and emails that you have left me during the 12 Days of Christmas series. It has been such a great pleasure and I have had a lot of fun in creating this series and now that it has come to a conclusion it is almost a little bittersweet. The positive response I have gotten has been unexpected and very impressive, it has brought back a lot of wonderful memories for myself and I am happy that I have been able to share some of them with you. I look forward to bringing you more delicious food and desserts and feel free to stop by My Danish Kitchen any time you like. Merry Christmas and GlÌdelig Jul to everyone.

Our Christmas tree with Danish and American flags

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Sparkling Linzer Stars

Sparkling Linzer Stars

I first saw the Sparkling Linzer Star recipe in Better Homes and Gardens magazine many years ago. The cookies are so festive and Christmasy and the process of assembling them is a lot of fun.  The recipe calls for both regular flour and whole wheat flour which makes it a little healthier, but I suppose you could just use all-purpose flour if you’re not into that sort of thing. Make sure to use a generous portion of seedless raspberry jam to increase the “delish” factor.

Flettede julestjerne

Danish Christmas Tradition: JuletrĂŚet (The Christmas Tree)

The Christmas Tree tradition has very old roots dating back to at least St. Boniface of Geismar, Germany. There are so many variations of this tradition depending on where in the world your located. In Danmark it’s tradition to put up and decorate the tree on Dec 23rd, although a lot of people now wish to put the tree up earlier. My parents would decorate the tree in the evening of the 23rd (little Christmas Eve) after my siblings and I were sent off to bed. The excitement was so intense that I could barely sleep and waking up to see the beautiful tree the following morning was almost magical. Old tradition for the Danish Christmas Tree is to decorate it with live candles, small Danish flags on a string, the children’s homemade braided paper hearts (flettede hjerter), paper cones (krĂŚmmerhuse), braided stars (flettede stjerner) and some glass bulbs. Christmas in Denmark is celebrated on the eve of Dec 24th. The day of the 24th is spent waiting in anticipation, snacking on fruits, nuts and candy. A light but extra delicious lunch. Family oriented Christmas programs are on TV to help pass the time and finally after a spectacular dinner the time has come. It is time to form a circle around the tree, holding hands and sing Christmas hymns and Christmas songs while dancing around the Christmas tree. The tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree dates back to approximately 1830’s and it’s a tradition seen in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. After everyone has lost their breath from singing and dancing it is finally time to open the presents. And so you see, the glorious Christmas tree plays quite an important role to help create Danish Christmas Hygge.

Sparkling Linzer Stars Ingredients

Sparkling Linzer Stars

Ingredients:

1-1/3 cups butter

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

powdered sugar (optional)

Star cutouts

Centers cut out

Seedless Raspberry jam

Directions:

Beat butter in a large bowl on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well combined. Beat in as much of both kinds of flour as you can, stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll each portion of dough on a floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes using star cutters (I used a 4 inch and a 1-1/4 inch). Transfer 4 inch cutout cookie dough to prepared cookie sheets. Using the smaller 1-1/4 inch cookie cutter, cut out center from half of the unbaked cookies; remove centers and reroll dough to make more cookies.

Bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, cool.

Spread the bottom of each solid cookie with a generous amount of raspberry jam. If desired, sift powdered sugar over the cookies with the cutout centers and place atop cookies with raspberry jam, sugar side up. Store in covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Linzer Stars

Linzer Stars

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

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