Christmas cookies - Julebakst!
Here are some tried and true Christmas recipes.
1dl/3.4oz sugar syrup
1dl/3.4oz whipping cream
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
about 450g/15.9oz plain flour
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 cup butter, chilled
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sparkling or pearl sugar
500g ground almonds
500 g powdered sugar
4 egg whites
2 Ts flour
Mix everything to a smooth dough. Roll out little-finger (NO THICKER) thickness long pieces. Put the rolls in the non-stick or buttered forms and connect the ends.
Bake on the lowest rack at 350ºF for about 13 minutes until medium brown. If it is too light, it will fall apart. If it is too dark, it won't be as chewy.
180 g powdered sugar
To decorate, start with adding some glazing to the dish you wish to display it in, so it won't slide. Then put down the largest ring, decorate with the zig-zag pattern and keep adding smaller rings.
Mix butter, syrup and sugar in a pot. Heat until sugar is completely melted. Let it cool slightly and add cream. Sift in spices, baking powder and most of the flour. Stir until it forms a stiff dough. Leave in the fridge over night. Then kneed with rest of flour and roll out about 3mm thick. Use cookie cutters (or more traditionally, just a knife to make shapes). Place on baking sheet on oven tray and bake at 175oC until golden brown (about 10 mins). Cool cookies before decorating.
Tip: Dip cookie cutters in flour first so the cookie mixture doesn’t stick. If you want to hang your pepperkake on the Christmas tree make a good hole in the dough of each cookie before cooking – a pen cylinder does just the trick.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks of the hard-boiled eggs and reserve for another use. Finely crumble the egg yolks into a large mixing bowl.
Separate the remaining two eggs, reserving the whites for the final cookie glaze. Beat the raw yolks into the hard-boiled egg yolks.
Vigorously whisk the sugar and the vanilla sugar into the combined yolks.
Stir the flour into the yolks to form a soft dough.
Cut the chilled butter into 1/2" cubes, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into dough, as you would for a pastry crust.
Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375° and place an uninsulated baking sheet in your freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll them into 6"-long "snakes." Fold the ends over one another into a wreath shape.
Place the wreaths on the baking sheet, then brush each one well with the egg white. Sprinkle generously with sparkling or pearl sugar.
Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden (watch closely to make sure they don't burn, as oven temperatures can vary).
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