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Showing posts from November, 2006

Air cookies - Loftkökur

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Another cookie recipe my mother always makes for Christmas. These delicious candy cookies are light as air and melt on the tongue. The rising agent, baker's ammonia, unfortunately makes a big stink while the cookies are baking. I've seen these cookies for sale in Denmark, where they are called Rutebiler (Buses).

1 kg icing sugar
3 tsp bakers' ammonia
3 tbs cocoa
3 eggs, beaten

Mix the dry ingredients and beaten eggs and knead well. Run the dough through a cookie press. Use this attachment:


Each cake should be about 5 cm (2 inches) long. Bake in the center of the oven for 8-10 minutes at 175°C. These cookies are light and airy, with a hollow center.
The unbaked cookies don't need to be big - they will expand in size 3-4 times during the baking.

A little break from the Christmas recipes: Muffins/cupcakes for every-day use

It seems the line between what counts as a muffin and what as a cupcake is blurry. The dictionary tells me that muffins are sweet breads, leavened with baking powder or baking soda and baked in cup-shaped tins, while cupcakes are cakes leavened and baked in the same way.

I suppose the following – my own recipe – falls somewhere in between the two. It is a cake recipe, but I have added a bread ingredient: whole-wheat flour.

Basic recipe:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
50 g margarine or butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Enough milk to make a thick batter, usually about 2/3 cup

12 paper muffin cups
1 12 muffin baking tray (mine came from Ikea)

Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add egg, milk, vanilla and melted margarine and stir into a thick batter. Put paper muffin forms into the cups in the baking tray and fill each to 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 190°C (180°C if you have a convection oven), for about 20-30 minutes, or until the cakes …

Icelandic Christmas cocktail - Jólabland

This mix is, as far as I know, purely an Icelandic invention. In the first half of this century not many people could afford to buy ale and fizzy drinks, and they were therefore something to be enjoyed at festive occasions, such as Christmas and birthdays. Mixing the drinks together was probably believed to make it even more enjoyable to drink. The taste is sweet, malty and mellow. This is a comforting drink that always makes me think of Christmas.

Take equal measures of an orange flavoured fizzy drink (Fanta will do) and brown ale (Guinness is supposed to be good) and mix together. Be careful to pour the orange drink first, and pour the ale carefully to avoid it getting too frothy. Drink with the Christmas meal. To get an authentic flavour, the orange drink should be the Icelandic Egils Appelsín, and the brown ale Egils Malt. Some people (like my family) like to add some cola, usually Coke.

Icelandic Christmas bread – Laufabrauð

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Fried leaf breads. The top two have patterns made with a leaf-bread cutter, the third is hand cut:



My father's extended family usually gather together at the beginning of December to make Laufabrauð, spending a whole day kneading, cutting and frying, before sharing a festive meal. There are usually 12-15 of us working together, turning out a couple of hudred of these flat, decorated breads in one day. The bread gets divided evenly between the families, who take it home and store until Christmas.

This year’s gathering is tomorrow, so here is a recipe and I will try to remember to take photos to post.

These deep-fried, thin wheat breads are traditionally cut with intricate decorative patterns, and are mostly eaten at Christmas. The tradition of making Laufabrauð has its roots in the northern part of Iceland, but has spread all over the country. Many bakeries now sell ready-made Laufabrauð, or pre-kneaded and cut dough that only needs decorating and frying, but nothing beats making it…

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I'm sorry for the inconvenience and all the reposts, but I am in the process of labelling the posts to make it easier to find recipes by main ingredient, cooking method and other criteria.