December is without doubt my favorite month of the entire year. Not only is it my birth month, but also that of many of my closest friends, and the festive spirits that goes along with both birthdays and Christmas makes this a more carefree time where we can allow ourselves a little extra. I never feel stress at this time as many people express they do, as I feel one should really embrace this special time of year and remember why we celebrate.
This holiday to me means spending time with your loved ones, showing why they are special to you, not through presents, but through wonderful food, drink, fun days and evenings where we all do something a little out of the ordinary and forget about every day worries and routines.
Since I have an unconventional job and work through most of the holiday (the negative bit about working in retail) I try to make every single day in December a fun and tasty day. Part of my ritual is of course baking my seven kinds of cookies (and then some) .
Today we’re on to day six, where I felt I needed to include perhaps what is one of the most classic cookies in the Norwegian repertoire: Krumkaker. These cone shaped, thin, slightly sweet, buttery and crispy cookies are not only beautiful to look at but delicious and light (depending on what you fill them with, perhaps not the latter!) and part of our baking history.
The cookies get a very ornate and pretty pattern due to the special krumkake iron they are baked in. Today you can purchase these irons online through many stores in the U.S.
Each iron can have a different pattern based on where in Norway you are and what traditions each family has, and they can be old fashioned (many Norwegian families haev had them in their family for generations) or more modern in style, if you purchase them today.
A small tablespoon or less of batter is dropped in the middle of the iron, then baked rapidly as they are super thin, lifted off the iron and rolled around a special krumkake pin right away while warm, soft and pliable to shape them into pretty cones:
My mother has been bragging her whole life about how her krumkake recipe is the best, so I must include her recipe below as it is also naturally the one I grew up eating. She inherited the recipe from her grandmother, who in turn inherited it from her grandmother. Not sure how old it is—but old enough to be a truly special recipe that I am happy to be in possession of!
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup margarine or vegan butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup potato starch
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
2 tsp ground cardamom
Whisk the apple sauce lightly with the sugar and add in the butter and the remaining ingredients.
Let sit for about 30 minutes before baking according to your krumkake iron’s instructions. Typically your iron comes with a cone shaped stick that you roll the flat cakes around—it’s important to do this right after you lift the cookies off the iron /before they cool and stiffen.
Fill the krumkaker with your favorite filling—whipped coconut cream, cloudberry jam (yes I know that can be hard to find in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world), or a chocolate whipped cream with fresh berries. So delicious!