Just a little bit about my art and life in general....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Getting into the spirit of Christmas, more baking!

We enjoyed a fun holiday gathering at a good friends house last evening. There was so much delicious food and wine and a warm fire and good conversation. The kids enjoyed a "yankee swap" but this time it was with toys they no longer used. This was an impossible task for my kids since they never want to part with anything. But in the end this little event was really a lot of fun. We woke up this morning to a snowy day. Nothing better than being cuddled in a warm home on a snowy day with no where to go!

Today we were busy making our Norwegian Krumcake cookies and finishing the lefse.

The Krumcake is our favorite Christmas cookie. When I was young my grandmother and great Aunt took turns making these for Christmas. Then later when we were older my mother took over making these with our assistance. We grind our cardamon in mortar and pestle but a pepper mill dedicated to the use of cardamon works good too. We buy the cardamon in its shell and then shell the seeds just before baking. This is my grandmothers recipe:


3/4 lb of butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
8 eggs (beaten)
2 1/2 cups of flour (sifted 3 times) (use 2 cups if batter is dry)
1 tsp ground cardamon (we usually add more especially if the seeds aren't as fresh)
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan then transfer to baking bowl and add sugar, stirring by hand.
Add eggs, cardamon, and vanilla stirring slowly by hand. Then add the flour very gradually to avoid flour lumps (again stirring by hand, we actually sift the flour in the third sift directly into the batter). Just remember do not use an electric mixer

We have a glass cook top so in order to use the heavy Krumcake iron we have the use an separate electric burner. Its important to get the iron hot enough before you start so the batter doesn't stick to the iron. This is really a two person job -- with one person manning the iron and the other rolling the hot cookie into the cone shape with the special wooden cone roller. You just add a spoonful of batter onto the iron and close. The cooking time really is trial and error and every year we cook this is a learning process.

Once the cookies cool off and crisp up they are transferred to a big tin and sealed tight to keep them crisp.

I also finished cooking up the lefse.

The lefse wooden stick is an absolute necessity. You use it to get the rolled out round off the board and transfer it to the pan.

As you can see my lefse isn't completely round but that's ok for me. You can see the bubbles form on the lefse and then its time to turn it over or take it off.

These are the cooked lefse rounds with wax paper in between. When we are done cooking we let them cool and slip the pile in a big ziplock bag and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

While I was busy with the lefse cooking the girls were making a playdough feast for me. Yummy spagetti and chopped liver!

And the third advent ...

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