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 been watching her cholesterol for eons and has substituted the spread so she can still enjoy one of her favourite yuletime treats.
I can't say that its exactly as nice as the original recipe intended but sometimes in the interests of health concerns we have to make concessions. I haven't tried making them with gluten free flour but I'd be interested to know if they turned out. If you have nut allergies you could omit the chopped almonds and sprinkle coffee / demerara sugar on top instead.
|I was able to use some of my home made vanilla sugar.|
In keeping with the nordic theme, Olive and I made some Scandinavian woven hearts. She was fascinated about how they turned into little baskets that could hold things like biscuits. Mind you, you'd need to line them with greaseproof paper first...as I soon discovered when taking photos!
Are you getting crafty this Christmas?
Recipe: Serenakake (Norwegian Butter Biscuits)
Makes 40+ biscuits
150g butter or cooking margarine
100g caster sugar
1 egg (60g), lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
200g plain flour
1 egg white, beaten (for glazing)
- Put on your favourite Xmas CD and hit play.
- Cream butter and sugar together in mixmaster til white and creamy.
- Sift in flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar.
- Add egg and mix all together to form a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and and chill for at least one hour. (My mum recommends chilling overnight for best results.)
- Preheat your oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Roll dough up into small balls (approx 2 tsp worth) and place onto the lined tray, allowing generous room around each for spreading.
- Using a fork dipped into flour, flatten each biscuit with the tines - to leave a ridge pattern.
- Glaze biscuits with egg white and sprinkle chopped almonds on top.
- Bake biscuits for 10-15 mins or until golden in colour.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Bake ahead tips:
Unbaked biscuits can be frozen at the end of step 7. Place tray of flattened cookies into freezer to flash freeze. Transfer to a freezer safe container and label.
To bake from frozen, place biscuits onto lined baking tray (allowing room to spread) and glaze with beaten egg white. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top and bake in preheated 180C oven for 10-15mins or until golden in colour.