Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Christmas

Mrs. Hobbs's Italian Rosemary Cookies

Cake, Christmas, Cookies, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
Italian Rosemary Cookies

Italian Rosemary Cookies

These cookies are to die for!!!

How my friend and the whole world kept this recipe away from me, for so many years, it’s beyond my understanding.

If you only are baking one cookie this year, make it this one!

Makes 60-70.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g butter, salted and room temperature

  • 400 g sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 30 g raw pistachios, finely chopped

  • 10 g (3 tablespoons) fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

  • 450 g all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 orange, the zest

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add 1 egg at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated, befor adding the next. Mix in orange zest, rosemary, and pistachios. Sift flour, sant and baking powder and incorporate it in the dough.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll each part into a log (2 inch in diameter), wrap in Glad wrap, shape the log into a square, by pressing the log onto the kitchen counter. Refrigerate overnight. Try to make a smooth surface to get an even look on the finished cookies. Well, the dough were very soft, so I didn’t get the smooth surface on my logs. 🙃

Cut the logs into thin cookies and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spacing about 1-inch apart. Bake until golden around the edges, about 5-7 minutes at 350°F. Cool cookies on the pan on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Beetroot Gravad Lax

Appetizer, Christmas, Fish & seafood, HolidayTove Balle-PedersenComment
DSCF1666_PM.jpg

Thanksgiving and December really sneaked up un me this year. As many others in California, we were living in unhealthy air due to the big wild fires. We tried to escape to the Sierras, and this threw my schedule way off. But now, over halfway to Christmas, I’am getting back into the game.
We are going to the annual Danish Christmas lunch, and I alway make gravlax. This year I decided to make 2 different versions, the regular and a pretty red beetroot and gin version.

The pretty pink gravlax is delicious too. I serve it with a dill and creme fraiche sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 800 g side of salmon, skin on, scaled, pin-boned, from sustainable sources

Beet cure:

  • 200 g raw beets (2 beets)

  • 2 lemons, the zest of

  • 100 g coarse sea salt 

  • 50 g sugar 

  • 50 ml gin (I used Hendricks)

Herb cure:

  • 1 big bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped

  • 6 sprigs, tarragon, the leaves, finely chopped

  • 50 g fresh grated horseradish 

  • 50 ml gin (I used Hendricks)

Directions:

In a food processor or mini chopper, blitz together the beets , gin, and lemon zest until they become a smooth paste. Transfer the beet mixture to a small bowl and mix in the rock salt, and sugar.

Rub a little mixture on to the salmon skin, then place the salmon, skin side down, in a large zip lock bag in a dish or baking tray. Pat the remaining mixture all over it so that the salmon is completely covered. Remove as much of the air from the zip lock bag as possible. Pace a little cutting board on top of the salmon, and place some weight on top to have an even pressure on it. Place in the fridge for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, gently unwrap the salmon and remove the beet mixture. Gently splash the salmon with a bit of water to rinse off any remaining cure and rinse the dish too.

Mix together the herb cure ingredients in a small bowl, place the salmon (skin side down) in a new zip lock bag in the dish. Cover the salmon evenly with the herb cure. Remove air and put the weight on back onto the salmon. Refrigerate for another 24 hours.

The next day, your cured salmon will be ready to enjoy. The herb mixture does not need to be rinsed off- just thinly slice the salmon and serve it as an open faced sandwich, with a creme fraiche (or sour cream) with dill.

Enjoy!

Pretzel Turtles

Christmas, Holiday, Sweets and CandyTove Balle-PedersenComment
Pretzel Turtles

Pretzel Turtles

Theses turtles have become a part of my Danish Christmas celebration here in America. My sweet sweet neighbor gave me a tin of these every Christmas. I do not think Christmas woulds be the same without Pretzel turtles. Last year I was so recklees to move away from my sweet neighbors, and not only do I have to miss them, but I also have to miss out on this special Christmas Treat.  Now I had to learn to make them by my self. My version is with pecans only. They are nearly as good, they just need the sprinkle of Bobbie magic. Love you Bobbie. 

Makes 48 heavenly mouthfuls.

Ingredients:

  • 48 rolo candies (2x5.3 oz bags)
  • 48 mini pretzels
  • 48 pecan halves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300℉ (150℃)  degrees. Line an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay pretzels in a single layer on baking sheet then place one Rolo candy in the center of each pretzel. Warm in preheated oven just until chocolate and caramel have softened, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven then press 1 pecan into each rolo candy. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator and chill until chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (preferably in a single layer - the chocolate softens up just a little at room temperature).

Enjoy!

Danish Shortbread Sticks

Cake, Cookies, Holiday, ChristmasTove Balle-PedersenComment
Danish-Shortbread-Sticks.JPG

December 3th

This is a take on the traditional Danish Shortbread or Finskbrød as they are called. I really like the addition of the lemon zest, and the more modern look. Normally Danes do not like changes to their traditional food and cookies. 'It has to be exactly like my mom made it' - but some changes are for the better, like this one.

Inspired by a Blomsterberg recipe.

Makes 30.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 200 g butter, salted, room temperature  
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 60 confectionary (powdered) sugar
  • 1 lemon, the zest of
  • 275 g all-purpose flour

Topping:

  • 1 egg, 
  • coarse raw cane sugar 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375℉ (190℃)

Mix all the ingredients until it forms a dough, be careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic film, and let it rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 6 x 12-inch (15 x 30 cm) rectangle. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, set aside. Beat the egg, and brush a thin even layer on the dough. Sprinkle with a good amount of raw cane sugar. Gently press the sugar into the dough with the rolling pin. Put the dough into the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes. Cut the dough in half so you now have 2 squares 6x6-inches (15x15 cm) each. Cut each square in 14-15 long thin logs, 

Bake for 7-10 minutes, until light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Enjoy!

 

December 1 st.

ChristmasTove Balle-PedersenComment
Decorating.

Decorating.

Happy December - Christmas is approaching 🎄🎅🏼

Here we go again, December 1 st. sneaked up on me again. This year I have no excuses. I didn't move, we didn't host Thanksgiving. Next year I will set an calendar alarm to warn me mid november, to see if that helps.

I started my Christmas cookie production today. I always treat my friends with a little box of homemade cookies, when we go to events during the holiday season. And People you normally tip. Americans tip everybody. Mailman, hairdresser, doctors, teachers, and and and.... eeeeeeverybody. This is still kinda new to me. But I still try to learn the unspoken rules here 9 years in. Most important person on my cookie list is my husbands boss. I do not dare skipping him 😉😉

This year I just want to bake all the basic Danish Christmas cookies like Vanillekranse, håkonskager, pebernødder, Danish gingerbread cookies, and Chocolate Biscotti. There might be more in the works, but let's see what happens.

I hope you want to join me on my December Journey into Christmas classics in sweets, cookies and food.

Happy December 🎄