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Posts Tagged ‘danmark’

Kanelsnegle

I made my first Kanelsnegle (Cinnamon Buns) in Home-Ed class. Does any high schools offer Home Education classes anymore? The class gave me a basic knowledge of cooking and baking. It sparked an interest for baking in particular and I baked quite a bit when I was a teenager. This is still something that I truly enjoy. By the way, I also took woodworking, but no sparks came from that class ha ha 🙂

Rolling up dough

Kanelsnegle ready for baking

Just a note about yeast. In Europe the preferred type of yeast is Fresh Active Yeast as compared to the American preference of Dry Active Yeast. Fresh yeast (also called Cake yeast or Bakers compressed yeast) can sometimes be found in the dairy section of certain grocery stores. It has a short expiration date and so it’s very perishable but works faster and longer. Fresh yeast is dissolved in liquid 70-80 degrees F. Store it in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 4 months. Dry yeast on the other hand has a much longer expiration date and is more forgiving of mishandling. To activate it sprinkle on water that’s between 100-110 degrees F and wait to see small bubble (about 10 minutes). Typically, 50 grams of Fresh yeast = 4 teaspoons Dry yeast (12 grams).

Fresh active yeast

Ingredients:

25 grams Fleischmann’s Fresh Active Yeast

2 1/2 deciliter milk (1 cup)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cardamom

400 grams flour (3 1/2 cups)

small amount of oil for the bowl

plus 1 egg for brushing cinnamon buns

Filling:

75 grams butter at room temperature (5 tablespoons)

75 grams sugar (1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons cinnamon

50 grams marzipan (about 1/4 cup) (optional)

Glaze:

1 cup confectioners sugar

1-2 tablespoons hot water

Directions:

Dissolve yeast in cold milk stirring gently. Add oil, sugar, salt and cardamom. Add flour a little at the time and knead until you have a firm dough. Place a small amount of oil in the bowl and turn the dough in the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise to double in size (30-60 minutes).

Place room temperature butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. If you’re using marzipan, break it up into small pieces and mix into butter using a fork to help break it up a little.

Prepare two round 8 inch baking pans by placing a round piece of parchment paper in bottom of pan and spray with non-stick oil. Or you can place parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle tabletop with flour and roll out dough to 40 x 50 centimeter (15 x 19 inches). Spread butter filling onto dough and roll into a log starting at the long edge. Cut dough into 14 even slices. If using round baking pans, place cinnamon slices in a circular fashion – 7 slices in each pan. If you using a baking sheet, place cinnamon slices right next to one another. By placing slices close to one another during baking is keeps the finished cinnamon buns moister. Cover baking pans or baking sheet with a dry kitchen towel, place in a warm location and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius (about 425 degrees Fahrenheit). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before glazing. To make glaze, simply combine confectioners sugar and water until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Kanelsnegl

Source: Signes Mad

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Ris a la Mande

Ris a la Mande

During the 1800’s the citizen’s of Copenhagen felt the need to separate themselves from the farming community and this also affected our Christmas food. They added whipped cream and almonds to our beloved Danish Risengrød and called it Ris a la mande to give it some French flair, because that is what was in fashion at that time. Kristeligt Dagblad

Danish Christmas Tradition: Mandelgaven (the Almond Present)

Today you still see Ris a la mande served in most Danish households on Christmas Eve. Since then, we have add a warm Cherry Sauce to top it off and traditionally a fun game goes along with eating this wonderful Christmas treat. A single whole Almond is blanched and stirred into the Ris a la mande to hide it. The dish is served after Christmas dinner and whoever finds the almond wins a gift. The problem with the Almond gift is that the winner could be anyone from a child to grandmother. This is often solved by giving a traditional small Marzipan pig as the gift, but today, the gift could be anything. Also, there is a lot of cheating going on with this game. Some may choose to place an Almond in each of the children’s bowls so all the children gets a gift. I think my Mom did that one year but we thought the game should be done “the right way”. I can honestly say that I have never won this game. The winner in our home was typically my Dad. He would often times get the almond and then he would keep it hidden against his cheek until all the Ris a la mande was eaten up. Sneaky.  One year my Dad took pity on me and gave me the Almond under the table 🙂 but I didn’t feel right taking the gift since I did not honestly win it.

I should also mention that some households may chop blanched Almonds into small pieces and add them to the dish. We have never done this at our house, instead pure Almond Extract is added giving the dish a wonderful Almond flavor. This dish is by far one of the biggest highlights of Christmas for me and I continue to serve it every single year, for it would not be Christmas without it.

Ris a la mande with warm Cherry sauce

Update:

I am very honored to be asked to participate in the LexioPhiles International Recipe Advent Calendar 2011. My recipe for Ris a la mande with warm Cherry sauce will appear on December 2nd, 2011.  LexioPhiles will feature a new recipe every day during the month of December from bloggers around the world.  Click the red banner below to see all the entries for Christmas 2011.

Ingredients for 1st stage – Risengrød:

1 1/4 cup water

1 cup rice (Grødris)

4 1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

Ingredients for 2nd stage – Ris a la mande:

1 1/2 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoon confectioners sugar

4 teaspoon pure almond extract

2 whole almonds

For the Cherry Sauce:

15 oz can Oregon Bing Cherries in heavy syrup

1 tablespoon cornstarch

water

Directions:

Place water and rice in a medium cooking pot, cover with a lid and simmer for 2 minutes. Add milk and vanilla sugar and simmer covered over low heat for 40-45 minutes. Stir often to make sure the milk does not burn, especially the last 30 minutes. You may have to turn the heat all the way down as low as your stove will allow for the last 15 minutes.

Place in Tupperware and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Once mixture is completely cooled remove from refrigerator and break it up with a spoon. In a small bowl add whipping cream, confectioners sugar and almond extract. Beat with a handheld mixer until you see tracks from beaters in the cream. Add half of the whipping cream to rice mixture and combine well with a spoon, add remaining whipping cream in small increments. The final  texture should be creamy and easily mixed with the spoon. Place covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.

To blanch almonds. Place almonds in a small dish and pour boiling water over to cover. Let sit in water for 1 minute, drain and rinse with cold water. Pat dry and slip the skins off. I usually blanch two almonds in case I have trouble with one. Before serving Ris a la mande, place one blanched almond in mixture and stir well to hide almond.

In a small dish mix together the cornstarch and some water to form the thickening agent. In a small saucepan bring cherry and syrup to a simmer. Add the cornstarch/water mixture to cherries a little at the time, stirring until syrup starts to thicken. Simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat.

Serve Ris a la mande cold with the warm cherry sauce on top.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Risengrød

Risengrød

Danish Christmas Tradition: Nissen (a mythical creature of Scandinavian Folklore)

The Danish Nisse is a fictional character which has its roots from the 1800’s farming community. Nissen would help with the successful drift of the farm, that is, if you were respectful of the nisse and if you behaved yourself. A special dish which were served for Christmas is Risengrød. It may not seem special by todays measure, but back then milk, rice, butter, sugar and cinnamon was a commodity. And so, it makes sense that Nissen would be part of a festive event like Christmas.

Today, the Nisse folklore is still alive and well, but in a different way. Songs have been written about the Nissen and he’s often seen in Children’s Christmas calendars whether it be on TV or on paper. He is an important part of decorating for Christmas in Denmark and Risengrød is still his favorite meal. In the picture above, which is part of my Christmas Tree skirt, you can see the Nissen getting ready to eat his Risengrød.

Risengrød

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup water

1 cup rice (Grødris)

4 1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

butter

sugar

cinnamon

Directions:

Place water and rice in a medium cooking pot, cover with a lid and simmer for 2 minutes. Add milk, salt and vanilla sugar and simmer covered over low heat for 40-45 minutes. Stir often to make sure the milk does not burn, especially the last 30 minutes. You may have to turn the heat all the way down as low as your stove will allow for the last 15 minutes.

Mix sugar and cinnamon together according to your taste. Serve the Risengrød warm, sprinkled with sugar/cinnamon mixture and place a dollop of butter in the center, letting the butter melt.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Vaniljekranse

Vaniljekranse

Vaniljekranse is a traditional Danish cookie made in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  I have very fond memories of helping my Mom and Dad make vaniljekranse when I was a little girl. It’s a fun process of the dough coming out of the grinder into strips, cutting the strips into pieces and forming them into circles. The cookies have a sweet vanilla flavor and are slightly crunchy on the outside. Making Vaniljekranse makes for wonderful Danish family “hygge” (coziness).

Vaniljekranse are not difficult to make, however, it took some doing to actually make it happen. The reason being, that in Denmark there is an attachment to your meat grinder that has a star shape on it. So the dough is run through the meat grinder with the star attachment. I could probably just have used a pastry bag with a star tip, I tried it, but it takes a lot of muscle to get the dough out. The other option would be to use a cookie press and you can get some sort of circle pattern, but I really wanted to show the making of this cookie the authentic way.

Vaniljekranse

Vaniljekranse

So I described the attachment to my wonderful husband Joe, he looked at the thickness of the meat grinder discs, and him being a Blacksmith and all, he was able to fabricate the disc for me…Yeah! My wonderful husband is so brilliant, I think I’ll keep him  🙂  He helped me make this cookie the authentic way. Thanks Joe.

Update: I have since then been able to buy a star attachment in Bilka in Denmark while we were home for a visit, it fits my KitchenAid mixer perfectly.

Star attachment for KitchenAid

Star attachment for KitchenAid

Star attachment for KitchenAid

Star attachment for KitchenAid

Vaniljekranse

Ingredients:

375 grams flour (13 oz)

125 grams cornstarch (4.4 oz)

375 grams salted butter (13 oz)

100 grams slivered almonds (3.5 oz)

250 grams sugar (8.8 oz)

1 vanilla bean

2 teaspoon vanilla powder

1 egg

Directions:

Place slivered almonds in food processor and blend until a powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl add flour and cornstarch, blend together. Cut butter into small pieces, add butter to flour mixture and blend together on low-speed with a handheld mixer until it starts to become crumbly. Cut open vanilla bean and scrape out seeds. Add vanilla seeds, vanilla powder, almonds and sugar, blend to combine. Add egg and mix to combine. Using your hands, press mixture together until it forms a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

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

Using the star attachment for your meat grinder, pastry bag or cookie press to form your cookies. Traditionally, you will use a star attachment for your meat grinder. Cut dough into small segments and load into the meat grinder. Run the dough through the star attachment into long strips, place dough onto floured surface. Then cut dough into 4 inch long pieces and form into circle. Place on prepared baking sheets.  Bake in the middle of oven for 8 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool on baking sheets.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Ground up slivered almonds

Dough coming out of grinder

Strips of dough

Vaniljekranse

Source: adapted from my Mother’s recipe

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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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Danish Fedtebrød cookies

Danish Fedtebrød cookies

To me, Christmas time is the best time a year. It is filled with joy, excitement and what the Danes call “Hygge”. Hygge is a cozy, happy and relaxed atmosphere. Live candles are an important part of creating Hygge and Christmas time is filled with candles. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from the days leading up to Christmas Eve. Being in the kitchen with my mom and dad baking cookies. Yes you heard me right, my dad always took as much a part of baking and cooking as my mother and they are both excellent in the kitchen. They would bake about 4 or 5 different types of cookies and I would do my best to get in the way to help them. Fedtebrød is one of those cookies which bring me back to Christmas in Denmark. It is a soft coconut cookie with a mild rum glaze on top.

Advent reef

Danish Christmas Tradition: Adventskransen  (Advent Reef)

The Advent Reef is a round reef typically decorated with pine, pine cones, red berries etc and four candles. It is either free standing or hung with ribbons and the colors are typically a red and white combination. The first candle is lit on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, then the first and seconds candle is lit on the third Sunday before Christmas and so on, until all four Candles are lit on the last Sunday before Christmas. I should mention that Christmas is celebrated in Denmark on the Eve of December 24th. The Advent Reef has been a tradition in almost all Danish homes since the 1930’s and it’s a celebration of what is coming at Christmas, that being the Birth of the Jesus Child. Whether you are a religious person or not, it’s a beautiful tradition to make the reef and lighting the candles every Sunday in anticipation of Christmas. It brings a sense of joy, Hygge and excitement into those hectic days.

Fedtebrød Ingredients

Fedtebrød Cookies

Ingredients:

For cookie dough:

125 gram flour (1 cup 2 tablespoons)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

125 gram butter (9 tablespoons) cut into small pieces

65 gram sweetened coconut (3/4 cup loosely packed)

65 gram sugar (5 tablespoon)

For glaze:

100 gram powdered sugar (1 cup)

2 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon rum

1 teaspoon flour

Roll dough into cylinder

Roll dough into a rectangle

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C ( 392 degrees F ) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place flour, baking powder, butter, coconut and sugar in a medium bowl and mix with a hand-held mixer. The mixture will be crumbly. Dust flour on working surface and on your hands. Then press mixture together using your hands until it forms a ball of dough. Divide dough into three balls of dough. Using your hands, form ball of dough into long rolls approx 9 x 1 inch long. Place on floured surface and using your rolling-pin gently roll dough into a 12 x 2 1/2 – 3 inch rectangle. Move the dough (with the help of a spatula) onto prepared baking sheet and using your hands and spatula press dough edges to make a more uniform edge. Repeat with two remaining dough balls.

Bake until golden brown, approx 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 4-5 minutes. While cookies are cooling, mix glaze together. While cookies are still warm, spread the glaze over cookies. Cool for another 4-5 minutes and then cut cookies diagonally. Complete cooling on baking sheet.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Put glaze on while still warm

Cut diagonally

Source: adapted from my Mother’s recipe

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