Recipe: Fattigman or Klejner Cookies aka “poor man’s cookies”

blog fattigman

Fattigman Cookies. Yum.

Fattigman Cookies, like so many other goodies on here, are Scandinavian. As such, they were a fond part of my childhood.

They are so interestingly shaped, I think. I remember spending a few too many minutes trying to untie the cookies, endlessly curious about how they came to be tied that way.

What is interesting to me about these cookies is the cardamom–this is a spice that is very strong and used in Indian cuisine. Infact, I can’t think of any other European foods that call for this spice (except for other Norse baked treats). Cardamom is related to the ginger root…considering this is the region that also brought us the Ginger Snap Cookie, this kind of makes sense to me.

Its smell is distinctive. But, like many things, cardamom loses its potency quickly after it is ground, so it is ideal to get it whole–in pods.  The conversion for this is about 6-7 pods equals a teaspoon of ground. But don’t worry if you can’t find whole cardamom; just get the best-quality ground black cardamom you can find.

blog fattigman cutter

Click for additional fattigman recipes and to order this specialty cutter.

The cookies do require some special equipment, namely a special cutter.

This recipe is from about.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Baker’s (superfine) sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cognac or brandy (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (whipped to stiff peaks)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • vegetable / canola oil for frying
  • vanilla sugar or confectioner’s sugar

Preparation:

Cream together the eggs, sugar, and brandy (if using). Stir in the melted butter. Gently fold the whipped cream into the batter. Sift together the remaining ingredients; with a light hand, mix the dry ingredients into the batter to form a soft dough. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Roll the chilled dough out on a floured counter to an 1/8″ thickness. Using a fattigman cutter or a pastry cutter, cut the dough into diamond shapes (approximately 1 1/4″ wide by 3 1/2″ long. If using a pastry cutter: cut the dough first into 1 1/4″ inch strips and then cut across these diagonally to form diamonds. Use a knife to cut a 1/2″ slash in the middle of each diamond). Twist one corner of each diamond up through the center slash to make a knot.

Heat two inches of vegetable / canola oil in the bottom of a heavy pot to 375.º Drop in the pastry knots and fry until golden, turning occasionally. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with vanilla sugar or confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately (Note: if preparing ahead, store in an airtight container without sprinkling with sugar. Warm in a low oven before serving, then sprinkle with the sugar).

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Recipes: Krumkake 2 ways

Krumkake may sound funny, but it tastes awesome.

Krumkake may sound funny, but it tastes awesome.

My husband likes to taunt me with the sound of this Norsk dessert.

“KaKa” he says; like in the begining of the Selena movie when Selena lets the pet chicken in the house and the Mom is mad because there is now “KaKa” all over the walls. (watch this clip; at the 1:25 mark)

“KROOOOOOM ka-ka” I say, as if that makes it better.

It doesn’t.

“CRUMB-kaka” I say, as if altering the oooh to an ahhh will improve the sound.

It doesn’t.

I try to explain that they are a lot like homemade waffle cones–almost exactly–but that doesn’t help, either. Waffle Cones sound better than Kaka.

In fact, there is no way to get past the funny name that comes with so many Northern European sweets and treats (Ebelskivers, Stroopwafels, Lefse, Fattigmann…) until you’ve been lucky enough to eat them.

I was lucky enough as a kid to have Krumkake, lefse, rosettes–all of it–on a fairly regular basis. As the Queen of the Sons of Norway lodge, I was always around for celebrations like May 17th and Santa Lucia in the winter. For the 10 years before getting my crown, I gobbled up the treats at heritage camp, folk dancing performances and when my Grandma bought them at fundraisers at the lodge.

Since we aren’t Scandinavian, and this was well before the time of the internet and allrecipes.com, we didn’t know how to make these goodies. Most families had pizzelle irons, lefse sticks and rosette molds that had been handed down to them by their grandparents; we weren’t so lucky.

So now that I’m an adult, and I have the internet, I spend entirely too much time looking–searching–for perfect recipes and equipment for my edible childhood memories. Krumkake is one of those memories.

Special Equipment: you will need a Pizzelle/Krumkake iron and a cone for rolling the waffles around.

A simplified version of krumkake was found at allrecipes.com:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat egg. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add whipping cream. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
  2. When krumkake iron is hot, put 1 teaspoon of batter on the iron and bake until light brown. Roll on stick immediately when krumkake is still hot.
  3. OPTIONAL: you can fill the krumkake with cream before serving, or dip half of it in melted chocolate. Or just dust with powdered sugar, like a normal person.

A more traditional take on Krumkake, from Adventurejournalist.com:

 

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cardamom

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat Krumkake iron (medium-high heat, let both sides warm).

Beat eggs and sugar together until blended and fluffy. Mix in rest of ingredients until well-combined. Pour a generous tablespoon of batter onto the iron. Close the iron and flip over until both sides are very lightly browned (about 30-45 seconds per side, depending on your stove).

When done, open the iron and place the rolling cone on one edge, wrapping Krumkake along the cone until it’s complete. Set rolling cone aside to cool while you cook the next one.

Once cool, pile Krumkake pastries on a plate and serve any way you like. Traditionally they were served with whipped cream or fruit inside. Tonight we served them as accompaniments to vanilla bean ice cream, drizzled with chocolate-Bailey’s sauce.

Recipe: Stroopwaffels (or Stroopwafels) English:”syrup waffles”

Stroopwaffels: worse for you than your normal waffles.

Stroopwaffels: worse for you than your normal waffles.

Stroopwaffels are a Dutch food that I had to look up on Wikipedia. Then I realized I’d seen them  back at the Sons of Norway as a kid, and later at Ikea and Trader Joes. The treats have even been spotted as far away as a Starbucks in Japan.

Not that a Starbucks in Japan is where I’d want to try this for the first time…In the Netherlands, they are so popular and common, they can be purchased on the street as a snack in Holland.

Like so many Northern-European breakfast sweets (I’m thinking Ebelskivers and Lefse), Stroopwaffels do require special equipment; namely: a Pizzelle Iron Waffle Maker.

The sweets also go by the name “Caramel Wafer Cookies” and “Dutch Moon Cookies” and “Syrup Waffles” in the states. They can be dipped in chocolate, rolled in coconut or sprinkles, covered in powdered sugar–nearly anything. The filling can also be changed to include nuts or other flavors.

Really, the idea of a Stroopwafel is just a starting point. Improvise and make it your own. Just make sure you heat them up the traditional way: on top of a mug of coffee, tea or cocoa.

Stroopwafels–like so many perfect foods- (nachos, chocolate chip cookies, pizza…)-originated by mixing leftovers. Today, however, there are actual recipes you can follow to make them.

This recipe comes from allrecipes.com and is very highly rated.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons dark corn syrup

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Cut 1cup of the butter into the flour. Mix in the sugar, eggs and yeast mixture. Mix well and set aside to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. Roll dough into balls and bake in a pizelle iron.
  4. To Make Filling: In a saucepan boil the brown sugar, 1 cup of the butter, cinnamon and dark corn syrup until it reaches the soft ball stage (234-240 degrees F 112 -115 degrees C).
  5. Split waffles in half and spread cut sides with the warm filling. Then put the halves back together.