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Archive for the ‘sweet’ Category

Wishing you all a lovely Easter, a few days of rest and relaxation and a fantastic time!

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Christmas cookies

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than baking Christmas cookies with friends?

Plain cookies with lemon glazing or without, stuck together with jelly or not, Austrian Vanillekipferln, chewy Zimtsterne and ginger cookies.

I would write up the last recipe but it’s my grandmother’s…so shh!

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Because Grandma gave me a packet of instant potato dough when we were visiting her home in Austria, I had to find nice apricots in Sweden (not the easiest task) and make some apricot dumplings. And take a picture and post it here, of course!

Now I just have to learn how to make potato dough from scratch so I can post the recipe. And make them again, because fruit dumplings are delicious! :)

Back from vacation! And a new job just started, so new bentos will be coming soon. For now, I’ll be working up my summer photo backlog…

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Happy Easter to all you Werebunnies! Hope you had a great day, spring weather and lovely eggs to munch on.

(also, baking Osterpinzen this year I noticed that WereRabbits is now the #1 Google hit for this search term! Not for “Osterpinze” (singular) though – let’s amend this with an updated recipe:

Osterpinze
Makes 4 big ones (with egg) or 6 small-ish, bun-sized ones.

500g flour
30g yeast (the non-dry kind)
125ml milk
4 yolks
1 yolk + 1 whole egg for brushing
125ml dry white wine (can substitute water&lemon zest)
5 Tsp. sugar
100g butter
pinch of salt
lemon zest.
4 easter eggs for putting in the pinze, if you like.

I liked the assembly instructions of this recipe, and it made the dough a lot easier to handle than the last one:
Put the flour into a big yeasting bowl. Warm the milk to room temp and add the yeast, then pour the mix on top of the flour (best to make a small depression into the flour, like a bowl). Sprinkle with some leftover flour and let yeast for about 15 minutes or until nice and frothy.
In the meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Warm the sugar, wine and butter and combine. Part the eggs (if you don’t know what to do with the leftover eggwhites, freeze them for later or – I just saw a video about a nice egg mask for your face…).
When you’re done, add the yolks and the wine-butter-sugar mixture to your dough, and stir until a nice dough is formed and doesn’t stick to the bowl any more. Let it yease until the dough has doubled in volume. In the meanwhile, if you haven’t already, boil and dye your easter eggs.
When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down, cut into 4-6 pieces (I made 4, which are nice and big enough to stick eggs in them), roll the pieces into smooth balls and put on a baking tray lined with paper. Brush with the remaining yolk-and-egg mixture. Let rise for another 15-30 minutes. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Brush again with the egg mixture. Using a clean pair of scissors, make three cuts into each ball. Brush one last time. Make an X-shaped incision in the top and gently press the egg into it. Put it in the oven and bake until golden brown (I used 10-15 minutes with steam and another 10 without steam).

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Need a last-minute gift to bring to your Christmas party? These homemade chocolates take almost no time at all.

Ice chocolate is also a traditional Christmas candy in Sweden, but I used to make it at home as well. It’s homemade chocolate that comes in little forms – and is cooled down by putting them out in the snow! (But warmer countries need not despair, the freezer is fine as well.)
I put my foot down on using my grandma’s recipe though – I was NOT going to make it with pre-made cooking chocolate. Nope, nothing but cocoa, sugar and cocos fat in this one.

Ingredients:
250g Cocos fat
200g powdered Sugar, sifted
50-60g plain Cocoa powder (NOT drinking chocolate!), sifted (Adjust depending on how dark you want your chocolate to be.)
Aluminium foil cups, traditional ice chocolate forms, or even ice cube forms for pouring into
Snow! Or alternatively, space in the freezer.

Recipe:
Melt the cocos fat over a water bath. It only needs about 70 degrees Celsius to melt, so it’ll melt quickly. Stir in the sifted sugar and cocoa powder. Stir well!
Pour into the forms and put the forms out in the snow immediately.
When the chocolate has hardened, stack in a jar (if using disposable forms) or (if not) remove the chocolate from the forms, stack it and pour more!
Store in a jar in the fridge.

The cocos fat makes the chocolate very soft, but also cool in your mouth. Be quick or it’ll be gone before you know it!

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This weekend, the boyfriend and me made Knäck!

That sounds wrong. Let’s try again.
This weekend, the boyfriend and me made traditional Swedish Christmas caramels! I feel so Swedish now!
And it wasn’t even hard – surprising for anything that contains the words “caramel” and “candy”, Knäck is amazingly easy to prepare.

Knäck is a kind of Toffee, made with sugar, syrup, butter, cream and almonds. The consistency varies depending on local tastes, from fudge-y to stick-to-your-teeth hard. The longer you boil the candy, the harder it will become after pouring. Ideally, you should be able to stack them in a jar without them sticking together.
The candy comes in little paper cups that look like muffin cups but are thimble-sized! They are sold all over in Sweden during Christmas time and usually, the back of the packet contains the recipe.

Since we doubled it for our purposes, this recipe makes about two jars of Knäck. That is quite a lot!

The ingredients:
3 Tsp. butter
4 dl sugar
4 dl light syrup (Swedish “light syrup” seems to be best translated to inverted sugar syrup)
3 dl full fat cream (whipping cream is fine)
150g sweet almonds, peeled and chopped.
The Container:
Lots of those tiny little paper cups. We made about 120 with this recipe, which is half a packet.

The recipe?
Dump everything but the nuts together in a thick-bottomed pot. Boil for approx. 30 minutes.
When it reduces and becomes a darker shade, try dripping a spoon or so into a glass of cold water. If you can easily mold the caramel after fishing it out, without it crumbling apart, it’s done.

During the time it boils, prepare a lot of those small paper cups, best on a baking tray so that you can move them close to the pot for pouring. You should have them all set up and ready to be filled or you won’t manage!

Mix in the nuts and put a spoonful into each paper cup. Be careful to keep the pot over low heat in the meanwhile so the candy doesn’t harden in the bowl.
(Or, in the immortal words of my great-aunt: “And then we don’t throw away the pan…”)

Let cool at room temperature, then store. I had brought out my pretty Christmas-themed candy boxes, but the boyfriend said they looked best in glass jars.

And they do!

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Raspberry-almond muffins

Makes 6 muffins.

50g butter
0,75dl sugar
1 handful of grated almonds (or almond mass/marzipan)
2 eggs
2,5-3dl flour, e.g. 1dl Graham- and 1,5-2 dl plain wheat flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
0,5dl milk
1 handful raspberries (frozen works very well for mixing them in easily)
butter and almond shaves for lining the muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Mix butter, sugar and almonds well. Add in the eggs one by one and whip.
Mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and vanilla sugar) and mix just to combine. Add milk as necessary.

Line a 6pc. muffin tin with butter and almond shaves. Carefully mix the raspberries into the dough using a spoon and spoon the dough into the tins.
Bake at 200 deg C for 15-20 minutes, cool covered with a towel.

Enjoy!

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