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Showing posts from November, 2011

Serenakake -Norwegian Butter Biscuits {Recipe}

These biscuits hold a very special place in my heart.  It's the first Norwegian recipe my mother gave me.

Back in the day when I was a government PR girl, I would bake a big batch and gift wrap them in cellophane bags to give to my work colleagues.  After a couple of years they guys would get expectant looks on their faces in the last week of work - yes, they are that di-licious!

I like to think of these as Norway's version of the Danish butter cookie you often see in gift tins at Christmas time except its made with love and not in a factory.

The dough is really simple to make - cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and sift over the flour and mix til it forms a soft dough.  And when I say soft, I mean soft.  It has to be refrigerated otherwise its unmanageable. Ideally you would whip it up the night before and bake it the next day.

You might also be interested to know that you can make these cookies with a heart smart margarine like   Gold'n Canola Lite.  My mum has b…

Birthday cake rewind

December is not just about Xmas in our household - its also Olive's birthday.

So aside from all my Xmas baking, I'm also thinking about birthday cakes and party food.

With a birthday the week before Xmas I guess I feel like I need to make an extra fuss and plan something fabulous each year. Olive loves a party and has been actively planning this year's celebration since March!

This year she's picked a pirate theme. I can't wait to see Olive and her scurvy crew running around in their costumes, climbing aboard her pirate ship sandpit and sailing the high seas to seek buried treasure.

The cake is under way (and under wraps until the party).  Olive's excited because it combines three of her favourite things - you'll have to check back next month to see what they are.

My interest in cake decorating really started with her first birthday cake. So for a little bit of fun, here's Olive's life in birthday cakes (and the evolution of my decorating skills).


Maureen’s Mistletoe Mince Pies {Recipe}

This week I’m sharing with you a recipe given to me by my one of my best friend’s mum, Maureen.
I was bemoaning my lack of a tried and true mince tart recipe for the blog recently when Shelby talked up her mum’s pies – the pastry has orange zest in them which gives it a special lift.  “Just ask her – she’d love to share it with you”, she said. So I did.  And to my delight, Maureen said yes.

Chatting with her a few days later, Maureen told me she’s been making these mince pies for forty years.  She found the recipe in a little four page leaflet from The Australian Dried Fruits Association that she picked up in a health food shop. It is so old it is in imperial measure so you will need to convert, she told me. 
Like many recipes of its age, it’s deliberately vague about the final quantity it makes. I was able to make 20 using domed tartlet pans but I rolled the pastry out too thin.  Next time I‘ll make the pastry a little thicker, say 3mm thick – that will most likely yield 15 pies.
Next t…

Norwegian almond cookies - Kransekake {Recipe}

I'm ashamed to say that I’m not very fluent in Norwegian but I do have the important things down pat like
chocolate - sjokolade,
cake - kake, and
thank you for the meal - takk for maten. Then of course there’s the important social greetings like
“Hello” - Hei!“Happy Birthday” - Gratulerer med dagen, and
Merry Christmas - God Jul. But there’s another part of the Norwegian language that I am slowly mastering – cookies.

Cookies are the traditional language of Christmas in Norway.  Each year on Christmas Eve, families lay a feast which must include seven sorts of classic Christmas cookies.  My mum tells me the number varies according to the region you come from – she remembers her mum making twelve different cookies but these days seven is more common.

These days most families buy their cookies for the Christmas table but there are still some husmors (housewives) who still bake the holiday favourites. 
There are over twenty classic Christmas cookies to choose from but one of my …