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Brunkager

Brunkager

Last year I was all ready to make my favorite round Brunkager when Joe requested for them to be cut out into anvil shapes for his Blacksmith Christmas party. Now, I had already made up the dough with whole blanched almonds in it, so I had to shift gear for this un-traditional request. I let the dough come to room temperature and I removed the whole almonds from the dough. There were still smaller pieces of almonds mixed in, but that turned out OK for rolling out the dough. So after I made the anvil cookies for him I remembered that I have some cute animal cookie cutters and I decided just to continue on making my Brunkager into cut-out cookies instead of the traditional round. I think they turned out really kinda cute, especially the squirrels.

Brunkager cut-outs

Brunkager cut-outs

Note: In the traditional round Brunkager there are blanched almonds in the dough. If you want, you can still leave add almonds but they need to be finely chopped in order for you to roll the dough out. And I wouldn’t add too many, start with 40-50 grams and see what you think.

Anvil Brunkager

Anvil Brunkager

Brunkager

Ingredients:

200 grams butter (7 ounces), at room temperature

200 grams sugar (7 ounces)

1 deciliter syrup (0.4 cup) (100 milliliter)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

325 – 350 grams flour (11.4 – 12.3 ounces)

1 teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of salt

50 grams blanched almonds, finely chopped (1.7 ounces), Optional

For the icing:

1 cup powdered sugar (110 grams)

1 tablespoon meringue powder

about 1/4 cup warm water (60 ml)

Directions:

In the bowl of an stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or electrical mixer add butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Add syrup, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, mix until combined. Holding back a small amount of flour for kneading the dough, add the majority of the flour and all of the baking soda, salt and almonds (optional). Mix until combined, careful not to over-mix. Turn dough out onto working surface and using the remaining flour, knead the dough briefly until smooth.  Divide dough into two equal portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Place dough in a zip-lock bag and let dough rest in refrigerator overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator and let dough rest on your counter for 30-40 minutes. Preheat oven to 176 degrees C (350 degrees F) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface roll out dough to approximately 4-5 mm (0.2 inch) thickness. Using your favorite cookie cutters, press out the cookies and using a small spatula gently lift dough onto cookie sheet. Bake in the middle of oven for 9-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Once cookies are completely cooled, decorate with icing if desired.

To make Icing: Note – for these particular cookies I only iced along the edges of cookies. If you plan on filling in cookies with icing, I would recommend doubling the icing recipe.

In a medium bowl sift together powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add warm water in increments, while mixing with your electrical mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth and glossy. Proper consistency is when a ribbon of icing falls into bowl and remain on surface for a few seconds. Add more confectioners sugar if icing becomes too thin. Use icing immediately or store in an airtight container covered with plastic wrap directly on the surface.

Be sure icing in completely set before storing cookies in an airtight container. It could take several hours for icing to set. Merry Christmas

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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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

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

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:

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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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Homemade Crunchy Chocolate

Danes love to make many different types on confections (konfekt) around Christmas time. They are small delectable treasures and usually pretty easy to make. This one is super quick and easy and I adore the slight crunch from the biscuits and the hint of cranberries. It reminds me of my Kiksekage, which I looove, only this is in small bite-size pieces. However, it does contain nougat which I have never seen in a regular grocery store here where we live. So the only way for me to get nougat is to order it online, but it is well worth it 🙂

Homemade Crunchy Chocolate

Ingredients:

200 grams semi-sweet or milk chocolate (7 oz)

100 grams nougat (3.52 oz)

50 grams biscuits (1.76 oz)

30 grams dried cranberries (1 oz)

Directions:

Over a warm water bath, melt nougat and chocolate. Remove bowl from water bath and break biscuits into small pieces, add to melted chocolate. Add dried cranberries and gently stir to moisten and combine all pieces. Line a small container with parchment paper allowing paper to extend over edges for easy removal of chocolate. Pour chocolate mixture into container and place in refrigerator for two hours to cool and set. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas!

Nougat

Source: adapted from Odense Marcipan

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Brunkager

Brunkager

This year I decided to try out a new recipe for Brunkager. I view this recipe as a more modern Brunkage in that, the finished product is a small rectangular cookie instead of the traditional round shape and it has pistachios in addition to almonds. The cookies are very flavorful and delicious and the only problem I had was with the aesthetic outcome. I was not able to find any whole almonds and pistachios, all I could get was almond slivers and unsalted pistachio halves and pieces. Of course now that it’s all said and done I finally found the right kind of nuts…bummer… oh well. As far as the almonds, use what you have, but whole would be perfect. But for the pistachios, I would recommend that if you cannot get whole then don’t bother with it because it really wont give you the beautiful green “wow” effect that whole pistachios would provided.

This recipe also uses Potaske which is a leavening agent commonly used in some Danish baked products. Potaske can be substituted with Baking Soda which is what I used in my previous Brunkager recipe. If you use Baking Soda you can omit the 1 tablespoon cold water. Simply just mix the Baking Soda in with the dry ingredients.

I hope you enjoy these cookies, they are a wonderful addition to any Christmas repertoire.

Brunkager II

Brunkager (makes approx. 110 cookies)

Ingredients:

250 gram butter (8.8 oz.)

125 gram dark syrup (4.4 oz.)

250 gram dark brown sugar (8.8 oz.)

2 teaspoon potaske

1 tablespoon cold water

3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground allspice

500 gram all-purpose flour (17.6 oz.)

30 gram whole unsalted pistachios (1 oz.)

120 gram whole blanched almonds (4 oz.)

Directions:

Using a 20 x 20 centimeter (8 x 8 inch) container, cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to fit inside the dish without it crimping up in the corners. Place parchment paper in a cross fashion with paper extending over the edges. Set aside.

Place butter, syrup and brown sugar in a sauce pan and melt over medium-high heat. Once ingredients are melting, whisk vigorously until it comes together. Remove from heat.

Combine potaske and water, set aside. Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and allspice in the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add potaske/water mixture to the warm butter/syrup mixture. Pour the warm butter/syrup mixture into the flour mixture and mix until a homogeneous mass. Add pistachios and almonds and continue mixing until combined.

While batter is still warm, pour into dish lined with parchment paper and press the mixture into corners and flatten. Cut another piece of parchment paper to fit and place on top of dough. Fold overhanging edges of paper in over batter and allow to cool at room temperature until the following day. Next day, remove dough from dish and cut into 4 logs. If you plan on baking the cookies at this point, cut logs into thin slices and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch space between cookies. Bake in a 180 degree C (350 degrees F) preheated oven for 9 – 12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely before placing in a cookie tin with a tight fitting lid.

If you plan on baking cookies on a later date, wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, place in a zip-loc bag and store them in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Flavors will continue to develop as dough sits. Once ready to bake, allow dough to come to room temperature before slicing and baking.  Merry Christmas and Glædelig Jul.

Brunkager ready for baking

Brunkager ready for baking

Source: adapted from Det Søde Liv

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Brunede Kartofler – Caramelized Potatoes

Brunede Kartofler is a classic Danish side dish which was always served with Christmas dinner when I was a child.  Of course it was also served occasionally at other times but I think probably most Danes associate the dish with Christmas in particular. The sweetness of the caramelized potatoes is wonderful with the other classic side dish Rødkål (sweet and sour red cabbage) which is slightly tangy and the two dishes are often found on the same table.

When making Brunede Kartofler make sure to watch the sugar so it doesn’t burn and when you add the butter it will bubble up briefly, so please be very careful.

Caramelized Potatoes

Brunede Kartofler

Ingredients:

potatoes (approx 20 small white)

1 cup sugar

5 tablespoon butter

Directions:

Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain potatoes and place in refrigerator to cool. Once potatoes are cold, remove peel. In a pan over medium-low heat melt sugar. Watch sugar carefully so it does not burn. When sugar has melted add butter, please note that it will bubble up, stir to combine. Add potatoes and cook low and slow, gently stirring occasionally until potatoes are warmed through. Enjoy!

Source: My mother Åse Frandsen

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Red Cabbage

With the holidays quickly approaching it’s time to revisit some classic Danish dishes. Rødkål is a side dish that is always on the table for Christmas dinners and luncheons but of course it is also served at other times. For me though, the sweet and sour aroma with a hint of cloves in the background reminds me of Christmas and it will perfume your house in the most warm and pleasant of ways. The dish itself is very quick and easy to assemble and the remainder of the time is spent simmering away on the stove.

Sliced red cabbage ready for cooking

I have been experimenting with this recipe for some time now and I finally got it right (that’s according to my tastebuds of course :)). The traditional way to make Rødkål is to use Ribssaft (Red Currant juice) but it’s impossible to find it in any of the stores around here, so I am substituting it with 100% Pomegranate juice.

The first time I made Rødkål the ratio of vinegar to pomegranate juice was off with too much vinegar. The second time I could not find any pomegranate juice so I used cranberry juice instead…bad idea. It left a really dry taste in my mouth. In the meantime, my parents came to visit and they brought real Ribssaft with them but it was confiscated going through customs. (Still unclear as to why they couldn’t bring it in, maybe the size of the bottle?) Anyway, two cabbage heads later and with real pomegranate juice and less vinegar, we finally have a winner!

Rødkål

Ingredients:

1 head red cabbage

1 deciliter apple cider vinegar (3.4 oz.)

2 deciliter pomegranate juice (or red currant juice = ribssaft) (6.8 oz.)

3 – 4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 tablespoon butter

Atamon for rinsing glasses

Directions:

Remove outer leaves of cabbage, cut into quarters, remove the tough white core and discard. Slice cabbage into desired thickness. Place cabbage  into cooking pot and add vinegar, juice, sugar, salt and ground cloves. Let it simmer covered for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. At the end of cooking time add the butter and gently stir until melted. If cabbage is to be used fairly quickly, simply just sterilize jars and lids with boiling water. If cabbage is intended for storing away, rinse jars and lids with Atamon. Store in cool, dark place. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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