Posts Tagged ‘John Campbell Folk School’

Norwegian Krumkager

Back in 2005, Joe and I took a week long class at John C. Campbell Folk School. We were at the school during their Scandinavian Heritage week which we figured would be the ideal time for us to be at the school. Joe took a blacksmithing class and I took Scandinavian baking which was so much fun and gave me a lot of confidence in my baking skills. Campbell Folk School is located in the southern Appalachian mountains by Brasstown, North Carolina and the campus is set in the most beautiful and serene location. The school is based on the Danish concept of Folkehøjskole which is an adult non-competitive learning experience. Campbell Folk School offer a wide variety of classes based on American traditional arts and crafts such as basketry, dance, drawing, enameling, leather, metalwork, music, photography, woodworking and so much more. I have written about my experience at Campbell Folk School before when I made Wienerbrød and making these Norwegian Krumkaker brought back wonderful memories about our experience there. I can honestly say that is was one of the most rewarding, exciting and at the same time peaceful experiences I have ever had. To get a feel for the atmosphere at the Folk School check out their blog.

Me at John Campbell Folk School practicing decorating a delicious layered cake.

Me at John Campbell Folk School practicing decorating a delicious layered cake.

Krumkake is a delicate and delicious Norwegian waffle cookie which is traditionally served during the Christmas holiday. I first learned to make this classic waffle while taking my Scandinavian baking class at Campbell Folk School. Making the waffle does require an Krumkake iron and a cone shaped roller which can be purchased pretty easily these days online. The cookies can seem a little tricky to roll at first (careful, they are hot) but after a couple of cookies you’ll quickly get the hang of it. They can be rolled into a cone shape, a cylinder (by using the handle of a wooden spoon) or simply served as a flat round disc. The filling choices are numerous and only limited by your imagination but traditionally they are served with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Norwegian Krumkake

Krumkake – makes 38 Krumkaker


4 large eggs, at room temperature

200 gram butter (7 oz.)

200 gram sugar (7 oz.)

200 gram flour (7 oz.)

2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

warm water to get correct batter consistency (I used 14 tbsp)

Special equipment required: Krumkake iron and a Krumkake roller (if not already included with your iron)


Melt butter and set aside. Add eggs and sugar to a bowl and beat on high until thick and pale yellow in color. While continuing to mix, pour the melted butter, in a thin stream, into the egg mixture. Add your choice of either vanilla extract or cardamom and while continuing to mix, add  flour in small increments. If batter is too thick, add warm water to correct consistency.

Note: follow your Krumkake iron manufactures instructions regarding temperature settings, if iron needs to be greased and cooking time. Using the krumkake roller will give you a cone shape and using the end of a wooden spoon with give a cylinder shape.

Place a large piece of parchment paper onto your counter top next to the Krumkake iron. I taped the corners of the paper down to keep it from moving around.

Pour a generous tablespoon of batter onto your hot krumkake iron, close lid and cook until ready (30-45 seconds). Using a small offset spatula or a butter knife, quickly lift the soft krumkake onto the parchment paper and roll into desired shape. Keep the cookie on the roller for 1-2 minutes to allow it to take its shape before sliding the cookie off the roller and placing it onto a baking sheet to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight tin until ready to serve. Fill cones with your favorite filling right before serving and enjoy.

Krumkake serving suggestions: whipped cream with fresh berries, soft ice cream, preserves or jams, pudding, custard or Carole’s Almond Pudding (recipe follows)

Carole’s Almond Pudding:


1 small package instant vanilla pudding (95 gram or 3.4 oz.)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk

1/4 – 1/2 tsp almond extract


Beat all ingredients together for 1-2 minutes until desired consistency and keep cool in refrigerator until ready to serve. Pipe into krumkaker cookies and serve immediately.

Source for Krumkake: adapted from Tine.no

Source for Carole’s Almond Pudding: my friend and coworker Carole Yoder

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Making Krumkaker


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Danish Wienerbrød

A couple of years ago my husband and I attended a week-long seminar at the John C. Campbell Folk School in beautiful Brasstown, North Carolina. The school is based on the Danish design of a “Folkehøjskole” which is a non-competitive setup and emphasizing on teaching practical skills.  They offer classes in anything from Clay to Dance to Knitting to Music to Woodworking, and so much more. Your days at the Folk School are filled with many activities from sunrise to sunset, but although busy it is also relaxing and the school is set in an incredibly peaceful environment. Joe took Blacksmithing and I took Scandinavian Baking. The baking class was taught by Kim Hendrickson who was full of useful baking/cooking tips and who had answers to all of my 101 questions about yeast and baking techniques. It was a week filled with baking delicious treats, some of which I was familiar with and some which were new to me. I hope that Joe and I can one day go back to the Folk School for more classes for we had such a wonderful time there and we got to meet so many interesting people.

I have known Wienerbrød my entire life but I had never attempted to make it until my Folk School stay. Wienerbrød is a Danish specialty and outside of Denmark it is referred to as a “Danish”, but believe me, it is nothing like the Danish that you pick up at your local 7/11. Wienerbrød comes in many different shapes and with numerous types of fillings. There are two ways to make this dough, that I know of. The traditional way is to roll out the yeast dough, cover parts of it with thinly sliced butter, fold into numerous layers, roll out and repeat folding and rolling. This process of rolling and folding the dough with the butter is what gives the pastry a crisp and flaky texture. The second method is the “quick” method where flour and butter is combined in a food processor and pulsed until the butter is the size of kidney beans. You still have to roll and fold the dough several times and so I’m not really sure it’s any quicker, but the dough turns out perfectly. Wienerbrød is a time-consuming pastry to make but the outcome is super delicious and so if you decided to make it, I am confident that you won’t regret it. Please enjoy.

Update: This recipe makes 2 braids. You can easily freeze half of the dough for later use. Wrap dough in cling wrap, then wax or parchment paper and finally a freezer bag. When ready to use defrost in refrigeator.


Makes 2 pastry braids.


3 1/2 cups flour (480 grams or 19.9 oz)

1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter (345 grams or 12.2 oz)

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

1/2 cup warm water (100 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit) (118 milliliter)

1/2 cup heavy cream (118 milliliter)

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar (55 grams or 1.9 oz)


seedless raspberry preserves


1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons water

pearl sugar, for topping

sliced almonds, optional, for topping


1 cup powdered sugar (100 gram or 3.5 oz)

2-3 teaspoons warm milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract


Place flour into bowl of food processor with steel blade. Cut butter into 1/4 inch slices and add to flour. Pulse flour and butter until the butter is the size of kidney beans.

In a large bowl, dissolve active dry yeast in warm water (between 100-110 degrees F). Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream, cardamom, salt, eggs and sugar. Using a rubber spatula, turn the flour/butter mixture into the liquid and carefully mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, overnight or up to 4 days.

Turn the dough out onto a moderately floured surface. Roll out dough to make a 16 to 20 inch square. Fold dough into thirds, rotate dough a quarter of turn and fold into thirds again, making a small square. Turn over dough. Repeat rolling and folding another two times (making it a total 3 times of rolling and folding). Ending with a small square, wrap dough and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the chilled dough into two parts. Roll each part into a 6 x 12 inch rectangle. (If not making both braids at the same time, wrap the second half of dough and place in refrigerator until ready to roll out).

Spread filling down the length of center of each rectangle. Cut slanting strips at 3/4 inch intervals along both sides towards to center. Fold strips over the filling in a criss-cross manner. Place both braids onto baking sheets and let dough rise for 15-30 minutes until pastry appears puffy. It will not double in size. Lightly beat the egg and water for the glaze. Once dough has been allowed to rise, brush the pastry with the glaze. sprinkle with pearl sugar and/or almonds.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. To make icing, mix together powdered sugar, warm milk and almond extract. Drizzle icing on top and let set before cutting. Enjoy!

Sliced butter and flour, pulse

notice butter is the size of kidney beans

fold dough into thirds, then into thirds again, roll out

place filling in center, make cuts slated towards center

fold strips in a criss cross manner



Source: Kim Hendrickson at J. C. Campbell Folk School


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