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Posts Tagged ‘St. Lucia’

Lussekatter

Lussekatter mark the beginning of the Christmas season in Sweden and is served on December 13th. This day is St. Lucia and it’s a day which brings light into the winter darkness. St. Lucia is celebrated with a parade of girls dressed in white, carrying candles in their hands and the leading girl has a crown of candles on her head. It’s a very beautiful tradition and you can see more of it here.

In Denmark we inherited the St. Lucia tradition but not the Lussekatter, so these buns are new to me and I must say that they are super delicious when served warm right out of the oven. They have a sweet Saffron flavor and the most beautiful golden color. The down-side to the Lussekatter is that they don’t keep well and they really should be eaten the same day they are baked. However, if they feel a little hard by the end of the day you can soften them up by putting them in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds and they will still be very delicious.

Lussekatter (makes 10 buns)

Ingredients:

100 grams butter (3.5 oz.)

0.75 gram saffron

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

200 milliliter milk (6.7 oz.)

50 milliliter heavy whipping cream (1.6 oz.)

100 milliliter sugar (3.4 oz.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 kilogram all-purpose flour (17.6 oz.)

1 egg, for egg wash

raisins (20 large)

Directions:

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt butter and set aside.

Place saffron strands in a small dish and add a very small amount of the sugar. With the back of a spoon smash the saffron and sugar to break the saffron strands into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Heat the milk and cream to 100-110 degrees F (do not exceed 110 degrees). Add the dry yeast and saffron to the warm milk, stir to combine and let sit for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the dough hook, add milk mixture, butter, sugar, salt and egg, start the mixer. Add flour in small increment, continue to mix until dough comes together. Do not over-mix. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea-towel and let rise for 45 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 equal portions. I used my scale for this, making sure each dough ball weighed between 80-100 grams. Roll each dough ball into a long rope measuring 9 inches. Fold each rope into a tight backwards “S” figure and place on baking sheet. Press a large raisin into the middle of the swirl in each end of the dough. Cover dough with a clean, dry tea-towel and allow to rise for another 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Beat 1 egg to make an egg-wash. Press each raisin down half-way into the dough to ensure they don’t get pushed up and out during baking. Brush each bun with the egg wash. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not over-bake. Enjoy Lussekatter warm.

Source: adapted from Anne’s Food

This recipe will be submitted to YeastSpotting, a great site filled with Wild Yeast recipes.

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Florentine ew

I first made these Italian cookies for Christmas a couple of years ago and it was Love at first bite. Since then, they have become a “several times a year, kinda thing” at our house and they dissapear faster than any other cookie I make. They are nutty and crispy with a hint of orange, 2 cookies held together with a generous layer of chocolate. Orange and chocolate, does it get any better than that?

Almonds

Almonds

Danish Christmas Tradition: St. Lucia (Saint Lucy’s Day)

St. Lucia is believed to be a saint who suffered a martyr’s death around AD 310. The tradition of celebrating St. Lucia was imported from Sweden during WWII as a passive protest against the German occupation. St. Lucia is celebrated on December 13th and it is seen as a procession lead by one girl wearing a crown of candles on her head followed by other girls who hold a single candle in their hands. All the girls are dressed in white and they sing “Sankta Lucia” while walking slowly and carefully. The St. Lucia procession is performed in schools, hospitals and nursing homes where they bring great joy and excitement.

Bring to a rolling boil

Bring to a rolling boil

Florentine Cookies (makes 28 small sandwiched cookies)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups sliced blanched almonds (200 gram or 7 oz)

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

zest of 1 orange (about 2 tbsp)

1/4 tsp fine salt

3/4 cup sugar (155 gram or 5.4 oz)

2 tbsp heavy cream

2 tbsp light corn syrup

5 tbsp unsalted butter (70 gram or 2.5 oz)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

6 oz semisweet chocolate (170 gram)

Directions:

Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped, but not pasty. Stir together the almonds, flour, zest and salt in a large bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil and sugar is completely dissolved. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then pour mixture into almond mixture and stir just until combined. Set aside until cool enough to handle, 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons  (for 3 inch cookies) or rounded tablespoons (for 6 inch cookies) of batter and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 3 to 4 inches between each cookie since they spread.

Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and even golden brown color, rotating pan halfway through baking time, about 8 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

Chop semisweet chocolate and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch water to a simmer and set bowl filled with chocolate over the saucepan, making sure bowl is not touching water. Stir chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth.

Drop a generous amount of melted chocolate (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) onto the flat side of a cookie and press together with a second cookie to form a sandwich. Return to rack and let chocolate set completely.

Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥

Florentine Cookies

Florentine Cookies

Source: Food Network Kitchen

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