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Nordic treats – try these recipes for Norwegian cookies (or buy them Sunday)

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Oct. 16, 2013 at 12:00 am | No Comments »
October 11, 2013 12:24 pm
Pictured here, an assortment of Norwegian cookies. File photo 2010. Janet Jensen/Staff photographer
Pictured here, an assortment of Norwegian cookies. File photo 2010. Janet Jensen/Staff photographer

Norwegians don’t shy from butter.

Full-fat cream?

Yes, please. That low-fat stuff won’t cut it.

Real-deal dairy is a necessary ingredient in just about every Norwegian sweet – and that’s why they’re so good, but so bad for you.

Right about now, Sons and Daughters of Norway lodges and church groups are organizing their fall lutefisk dinners, festivals and bake sales. Lucky me, they shared some recipes with me.

My favorites are cookies. I adore the spiced cookie called pepparkakor; fattigman, also known as the poor man’s cookie; and the vast world of krumkake, the little cone-shaped cookies made from a batter.
And don’t forget lefse, the potato bread that can be served savory or sweet, depending on your preference for butter or cinnamon and sugar.

Last weekend, the Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge held its Nordic Festival in Edgewood where dozens of Norwegian cookies and other sweet nibbles were for sale at $4 a box. This weekend, the Sons of Norway Norden Lodge #2 will have a lutefisk dinner featuring a small bake sale downstairs at Tacoma’s Normanna Hall (see box below for details).

One of the featured bakers this Sunday will be Tacoma resident Shirley Haukeli, who with daughter Pam Haukeli, of Spanaway, will sell trays of cookies and pastries.Their bake sales have become so popular, they sometimes sell out in an hour (so get there early, or if you miss out, call Haukeli at 253-752-7258 for custom orders).

For sale on Sunday will be cookie trays with a mix of cookies, such as sandbakkelse, rosettes, fattigman, krumkake and spritz – priced $4.50 for a dozen. There also will be hjortetakk, fyrstekake, cardamom bread, hardanger lefse and julekake. Prices top out at $5 for trays and breads.

I asked members of the Sons of Norway Norden Lodge #2 and Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge #2 to share a few of their favorites. Here, they’ve offered recipes for pepparkakor, lefse, Oslo kringles, krumkake, fattigman, sandbakkelse and ginger spritz. Give them a try.

Sons of Norway Lutefisk Dinner
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013
Where: Normanna Hall, 1106 S. 15th St., 253-752-8686, norden2.com
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children 7-12, free for kids 6 and younger
Dining: A full lutefisk and/or meatball dinner will be served buffet style. A small bake sale with Norwegian cookies and sweets.There also will be lefse making demonstrations.

Lefse

3 large baking potatoes
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup flour, plus ½ cup or more for final steps

Boil the potatoes without peeling, peel and mash while still warm and put through ricer. To get the lumps out, you might have to push them through a ricer more than once. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, cover and chill for eight hours or overnight.

Mix in 1/2 cup of flour. Divide into 15 – 16 balls if you want dinner-plate size. Using a grooved rolling pin covered with a clean sock (optional) and pastry canvas, roll each ball as thin as possible. Use flour as needed (but not too much), keeping remainder of dough in the refrigerator as you work
Bake each lefse on a medium to hot griddle, turning until both sides are flecked with brown. Do not overcook.

To serve, spread with butter or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Source: Quinn Balstad, Sons of Norway Norden Lodge #2, Tacoma

Oslo Kringle (Puff Pastry)

For the pastry:
½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
3 large eggs
For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon almond flavoring
Milk, to desired thickness

To make puff pastry: Add butter to water and boil. Stir in flour thoroughly. Cool slightly and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread into a strip approximately 2 inches by 10 inches on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or 325 for 30 minutes. Cool and top with icing.
To make icing: Combine powdered sugar and almond flavoring, adding just enough milk to make an icing.
Source: Quinn Balstad, Sons of Norway Norden Lodge #2, Tacoma

Pepparkakor

Yield: Makes about 200 cookies
⅔ cup dark corn syrup
½ cup butter, softened
⅔ cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking soda (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water)
5 cups flour

Mix all ingredients except flour. Gradually add flour, reserving 1 ½ cups for rolling. Chill overnight. Roll dough out on parchment paper, cut into rounds or other shapes using a cookie cutter, if desired. Bake on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until desired.
Source: Quinn Balstad, Sons of Norway Norden Lodge #2, Tacoma

Fattigman (Poor Man’s Cookie)

8 egg yolks, separated
3 egg whites, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons brandy
8 tablespoons whipping cream
Enough flour to create a dough
Oil, for frying

Beat egg yolks with the sugar. Add butter, cardamom, and brandy. Add whipped cream and 3 beaten egg whites. Add enough flour to create a dough to your liking.
Roll dough thin and cut in diamond shapes. Make a slit in each cookie and draw one end through. Fry in deep fat until lightly browned.
Source: Mardy Fairchild, President and Nordic Festival Chair, Embla Lodge #2, Daughters of Norway

Sandbakkelse (Sand Cookies)

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract (may use 2 tablespoons almond paste)
1/4 teaspoon salt, approximately
3 cups flour

Note: You’ll need sandbakkelse tins or mini fluted tart cups to achieve the desired sandbakkelse shape.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add almond extract (or paste), then salt, and add flour gradually. Mix well. Chill dough about 20 minutes. Press into forms (the small tart tins). Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Source: Mardy Fairchild, President and Nordic Festival Chair, Embla Lodge #2, Daughters of Norway

Ingefær Spritz (Ginger Spritz)

1 cup shortening (or substitute half butter)
2 cups brown sugar
2 whole eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Sift dry ingredients. Cream shortening and brown sugar. Add whole eggs and beat well. Add flour and lemon flavoring. Chill for 20 minutes.
Use a cookie press, if desired, to form cookies into different spritz shapes. Alternately, if you don’t have a spritz cookie press, form the dough into a log before chilling, wrap the log up in plastic, then when fully chilled, slice carefully into rounds, placing cookies a few inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until done.
Source: Mardy Fairchild, President and Nordic Festival Chair, Embla Lodge #2, Daughters of Norway

Krumkake

4 large eggs, beaten well
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 pound butter, melted
2 cups flour

Note: You will need a krumkake iron and mold for this recipe.
Add sugar, water, and vanilla to egg. Add flour gradually to form a batter (thin if needed). Add melted butter. Do not overmix. Bake about 1 teaspoon of batter at a time in a krumkake iron.
Source: Mardy Fairchild, President and Nordic Festival Chair, Embla Lodge #2, Daughters of Norway

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