Tag Archives: Norwegian cookies

Celine’s Krumkake

A krumkake is a traditional Norwegian Christmas cookie cooked on a special griddle and then rolled into a cone shape.  They are beautiful, delicate, crisp and lightly seasoned with cardamom.  You can fill them with whipped cream or custard or whatever sounds yummy to you, but my Mom never did, so I don’t either.  As much as my sister and I loved these, It might be that Mom didn’t fill them because they were gone before she had a chance!  Mom made piles of krumkaker (the plural of krumkake) every Christmas along with other Scandiavian yummies like lefse, kringla, rosettes, and aebelskivers.  She had a little sign in her kitchen the stated “Tis a blessing to be Norwegian;” a sentiment I must agree with, especially whenever there are treats like these around!

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To get started, you’ll need a krumkake iron and cone form.  I don’t remember where I got my original iron that sits on a stove burner, but I bought my electric one at a local kitchen store.  Both can be found online, and having used both, I’m preferring the electric iron.

2 kinds of irons

Then, gather up a few things for a simple batter and you’re ready to go!

ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 TBSP corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom

Lightly beat the eggs,

beat eggs

and then add sugar, starch, flour, vanilla and cardamom.  Stir to combine.

mix eggs sugar starch flour cardamom and vanilla

Then add the melted, cooled butter.  (The butter should still be liquid, just not so hot as to cook the eggs!)

add butter

Stir to a smooth batter.

mix til smooth batter

Heat iron according to the manufacturer’s directions, and spray lightly with spray oil.

spray iron with oil

Place 1 TBSP of batter near the center of the heated iron for a 4-inch krumkake, or 2 TBSP for a 6-inch krumkake.  This recipe will make 1 1/2 dozen 6-inch or 3 dozen 4-inch krumkaker.  I used a 1 TBSP cookie scoop to place my batter on the iron.

2 TBSP for a 6 inch krumkake

Close the lid and press lightly to distribute the batter.  One of the coolest things about the electric iron is that you don’t have to turn it over while cooking like you do with the stove-top iron.  Love it!

close and press to distrubute batter

Check after a minute to see if the krumkake is the shade of brown you like–I like mine fairly light.  See how this krumkake has gotten outside the patterned section of the iron?  Too much batter.  I used a wee bit less better for the next ones and ended up with prettier cookies, but they’re yummy no matter what!

cook til desired brownness

When ready, remove from the iron using a fork or small spatula, and place on a paper towel.  Immediately position the cone form like this:

place form on hot krumkake

Quickly roll the krumkake around the form while it is still hot.  This gets easier as you go.  I messed up the first one because I let it get too cool while I took pictures–it cracked as I rolled it.  My son was more than happy to “take care of” my ugly krumkake.  😉

roll to a cone

Gently press the form over the seam to help set the cone shape.  I leave the form sitting in the cone as I add more batter to the iron.  Then remove the form!  Look at the pretty cookie you just made!

remove form

Stack them up on a plate or platter to cool and become crisp.  This platter was a gift from my Mom from her favorite Scandinavian gift shop, Vanberia.

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I think they’re pretty stacked on top of each other like this.

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The iron makes a beautiful almost tapestry-like pattern in each cookie.  So pretty!  My cousin’s husband sculpted the Santa that has been keeping my krumkaker company, and the cute little towel was in a tub marked “Norwegian Tree”  that I brought home from Mom’s house.

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Here are some more Santas– hand carved, painted and accessorized by a friend of my Mom’s–Mr Barnett.  My sister and I went to school with his daughters.   Mr. Barnett carved a different Santa each year; Mom bought one for herself every year and sometimes bought them for my sister and me.  I love the different faces, beard details and little details of the clothing and accessories.

santas1

santas2

I usually have them above my kitchen cabinets, to keep them a bit more cat-safe, but brought them down to take their pictures.  Just love them.  What are your favorite Christmas decorations?

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Filed under comfort food, dessert, food gifts, Food memories, Holiday foods, Norwegian Foods, recipe

Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Celine’s Rosettes

The Norwegian part of my upbringing was mainly about cookies.  Oh yes, tis a blessing.

Rosettes are crisp, sweet and light.  It seems like Mom, my sister, Sonia, and I made about a million rosettes every holiday season.  They get started with a thin, waffle-like batter, and are fried in a light oil using a special iron.  

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour

Mix flour and milk to a smooth batter.

Add salt, sugar and vanilla.

Lightly beat egg and stir into the batter.  Do not whip-you don’t want a lot of bubbles in the batter.  Set batter aside to rest while you heat a light vegetable oil, such as canola, in a pot.  Also, prepare your work area right next to the hot oil with the batter, a plate for the oily chopstick and wooden spoon you’ll be using, a shallow bowl with powdered sugar (optional, but highly recommended), and a cooling rack.

 I like to use a fairly small pot with tall-ish sides, so I don’t need a ton of oil, and the splatters are mostly contained.  You’ll want a depth about 3 times the depth of the rosette iron, so you can keep it off the bottom while completely submerged.  The oil is hot enough when it boils around the handle of a wooden spoon.

Heat your iron really well; let it sit in the hot oil for 5 minutes or so.  I got in a hurry, and ruined a couple because they stuck to the iron–how you’ll know if you didn’t heat the iron enough.  No big deal, just frustrating chipping the batter off the iron.  The little bits of rosette are yummy–eat the evidence if you find yourself in this situation.

When your iron is hot, dip it into the the batter, but not completely up to the top of the iron, or the cookie will not release even if the iron IS hot enough.

Submerge in the oil and fry until it begins to turn golden. 

Use a chopstick to help loosen the rosette and turn it over to fry the underside.  Leave the iron in the hot oil so it maintains its heat.  Place the chopstick through one of the holes to lift it from the oil.  All the steps involving hot oil were Mom’s part of making these cookies.

Place hot rosette in the powdered sugar and lightly coat both sides.  Place on a cooling rack to dry.  The sugaring part was my sister’s and my job.  We also excelled at snitching cookies from the rack.

Repeat!  You’ll be  getting into a groove.  Watch your rosette garden grow! 

As your batter gets shallow, it will not be deep enough to hold onto the iron.  Move it into a smaller bowl, still large enough in diameter to dip the iron.  Eventually you’ll get to a place where the iron will not hold the batter in the small bowl.  This is just the way it goes and I toss that last little bit.

Oh, aren’t they pretty?

This recipe makes two dozen, but is easily doubled.  Yup,  I could eat about a million of them.  So, so yummy!

What are traditional cookies at your house?

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Filed under comfort food, dessert, food gifts, Food memories, Holiday foods, Norwegian Foods

Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Celine’s Kringla

Nearly everyday, Somethin’ Yummy is visited by someone searching for Kringla.  I mentioned Kringla in an earlier post about other things Norwegian.  Any-hoo, I thought it was ’bout time to make a batch.  Actually a half batch.  A whole batch, as anyone raised by a Norwegian baker knows, is enough to feed everyone at the family reunion!  So, Kringla seekers and anyone else interested in an easy (yes, I said easy!) recipe for a not-overly-sweet, soft-pretzel-esque cookie with Scandinavian roots–here ya go!

After a bit of surfing for Kringla history etc., I discovered there are about as many Kringla recipes and shapes as there are Scandinavian bakers.  This is my mom’s recipe, that came from her Aunt Irene, that came from….you get the picture.  Kringla was always a “Christmas Cookie” in my childhood, so now that’s the only time I bake them.  I’m giving amounts for a half batch–feel free to double it!

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 egg, beaten (The key to half an egg is to beat it in a measuring cup and only put half of the amount into the recipe–save the other half for an egg wash.)
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream (Full fat sour cream makes for a richer kringla!)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F, lightly oil baking sheets or line with parchment paper or silpats.

Beat and measure egg in a measuring cup–remember, you only need half an egg for this half batch of kringla.

Mix sugar, eggs, and sour cream.

Add flour, soda and salt.

Mix, scraping down the sides as needed, until you have a seriously sticky dough.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for a bit, JUST until the dough is workable, but still sticky inside.

Divide dough in half to make it easier to work with and roll each half into a log around 12-18 inches in length.  Slice into narrow pieces.  (A whole batch of Kringla makes 6-7 dozen, so adjust how many pieces you’ll need from each log.  I also decided to make mine smallish–more on that later–so I cut mine into 24 pieces for each log.)

With floured hands, roll each piece into a snake.  I rolled mine into snakes about as long as my hands,  Regular sized kringla are usually longer–8-9 inches.

Bring the ends to meet, pinching them together to make a circle–the symbol of the best known of the Old Norse Kings’ Sagas, the Heimskringla–translated, “circle of the world.”

Carefully twist the circle over the pinched part to make a figure 8.

Twist one more time.  The dough is very soft, making this twist a bit tricky.  Don’t worry about perfection, but if you do, roll it back into a snake and try again!

Place kringla on prepared baking sheets.  I found that I could roll another sheet-full while the first batch baked.

Bake for 12-15 minutes; until lightly golden on top.  Cool on racks.  ( I highly recommend snacking on one or two while still warm!)

Enjoy!  I brewed myself a cup of Comfort and Joy tea to have with a few…ok, 5…well, it may have been 6 or 7. 

While noshing away on my kringla and tea, I called my mom.  We often call each other when we bake.  Mom asked if they had holes for my fingers; I said no, I made them kind of smallish and the holes puffed closed.  This precipitated a story of my mom’s childhood I never knew of:

My grandma died while my mom was a toddler, so my Aunt Rosie, Grandpa’s sister, and my Aunt Irene, Grandma’s sister helped raise my mom and her two older sisters.  Aunt Rosie had them most of the time, and Aunt Irene would take them for a while during the summers.  The girls would show up at Aunt Irene’s in nice dresses, which were almost immediately placed under a protective sheet in a closet, and the girls dressed in “farmerettes,” bib overalls for girls.  (I have a sort of Von Trapp children image here!)   Aunt Irene made the farmerettes from floral printed chicken feed sacks, using flower-shaped buttons to fasten the bibs.  Women of that era often bought their chicken feed according to the different prints of the sacks and made blouses, skirts and other clothing from them.  In addition to making the farmerettes, Aunt Irene often made Kringla.  She made them full-sized, so that the holes don’t puff closed; holes large enough to fit over the fingers of little girls!  Aunt Irene would ask each girl to present a hand and she would place a kringla over each finger.  When each girl had her kringla, they were allowed out to play.  That’s the fun part.  Here’s the “scandalous” part:  When the visit was over, the girls were dressed in their still perfectly clean and pressed dresses.  Aunt Rosie was always impressed with how clean and neatly pressed Aunt Irene had the dresses.  The girls never told.  Mom thinks they didn’t tell because they thought they wouldn’t be allowed to visit again.  Years later, just before Aunt Irene died, Mom and Irene had a giggle over that.  🙂

I know I’m going to enjoy my kringla even more now that I know this story.  How nice is it that baking traditions connect us to our histories?  What are your baking traditions?

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Filed under comfort food, dessert, food gifts, Food memories, Holiday foods, Norwegian Foods, recipe