There is something about not being home for Christmas that had me looking up some very retro recipes this year. I made fruit cake, and four kinds of krumkaker : regular, glutenfree, and two kinds of glutenfree + vegan. I made strull, which look like cylindric krumkaker but have sour cream instead of eggs (that was a bit of a disaster, report to follow). I made brune pinner, dark cinnamon-flavoured cookies, and coconut macaroons. I baked and baked. However, there were a few issues: I love to bake, but really no not need the calories. And yes, we enter Christmas lockdown in Italy tomorrow. Also, fragile crisp Norwegian cookies do not do well in the humid Roman winter. Some went soft! (I rebaked them briefly.) So today, facing a looming tower of cookie tins in the kitchen, I went for a lovely long walk and dropped off cookie bags for a few friends, with distance maintained and no socializing. From tomorrow we will need to fill in a police declaration form to leave the house, so it was nice to get out. No complaints about the lockdown though, it is only ten days.
Avoid receiving guests, says the sign. Well, we go into lockdown but it it is not super-strict. Receiving two guests a day is allowed, though we have no plans for that. We will have a very quiet Christmas, which is fine. One friend will come over tomorrow, and we will have a lovely time. The fridge is full, we have Christmas movies to watch, and family zoom calls are planned. I still have a LOT of Christmas cookies left, including these almost unpronounceable bordstabelbakkels, which are roughly table-stack-small-bake. A shortbread base with an almond meringue layer, these should be stacked two and two. Nice with coffee.
250 gr butter
250 gr white sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tbs cream
500 gr flour
Almond topping: 250 gr icing sugar, 250 gr scalded ground almonds, 3 eggwhites.
Separate the eggwhites and yolks. Whisk eggyolks with sugar, add cream. Then beat in soft butter and flour. Let the dough rest for at least an hour. Make the almond topping: whisk the eggwhites to light and fluffy, add sugar, then stir in almonds. (I have an old almond grinder, a food processor would work too: not too fine when grinding the nuts though.) Add a little water if the mass is too thick for your piping bag.
Roll the dough out thin, cut rectangles of a consistent size. I was aiming for 3×10 cm, but as the dough got warmer and stickier, my standards slipped. Pipe on the topping (or spoon it in, as I did when the piping bag split by tray four). Bake at 170C for 7-9 minutes. To serve, stack two and two like very delicate Jenga blocks.
Note: I made a fifth of these as a glutenfree batch for a friend, using separate bowls and glutenfree flour. Worked fine but they were very fragile, handle with care.
Merry Christmas to all!
Some local grafitti for the Italian speakers….