CARL LARSSON SWEDISH PEPPARKAKOR TIN 2011
"MARTHA WINSLOW AS A LITTLE GIRL"
Gingersnaps are among the seven traditional Norwegian Christmas cookies on my list. But I'm not going to provide a recipe here (you can find a million on the web, though). I'd be a fool to make them when I can buy a heap of these zingy cookies in a collector's tin with art by Carl Larsson. Each Christmas, Europa in St. Paul, MN, brings out a tin of these Swedish ginger cookies, called pepparkakkor. I don't feel a bit bad about buying SWEDISH cookies, either, because I have a distant great-great-something grandmother who came from Sweden.
Pepparkakkors used to come in a heart shape, which I prefer, but now they come in a scalloped shape. They still taste the same, though. This big tin of cookies only costs $13.00. When the cookies are gone, I save only the lids and display them on the wall.
So yes, I cheat when it comes to gingersnaps. And you could also say I cheat when it comes to Norwegian almond cookies. My mom and grandma used to make overnight (refrigerated) almond cookies but I make a Scandinavian almond cake instead. (If you'd rather have an almond cookie, I'll repeat my mantra: You'll find a million recipes on the web).
These cakes were a huge hit with my family when I served them for the first time last year. The tin comes with the recipe, too. It's really simple:
SCANDINAVIAN ALMOND CAKE
Spray pan well with Pam or other cooking spray (That's what the recipe says but I find that the spray just settles at the bottom of the pan and the cake sticks to it. Try butter or margarine instead.)
Beat well: 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1 egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract and 2/3 cups of milk
Add: 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Add: 1 stick of melted margarine and mix well.
Before pouring batter in the pan, sprinkle sliced almonds on the bottom of the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Edges must be golden brown. Cool in pan before removing. Cake will break if removed too soon.
The Scandinavian almond cake pan costs about $12.00 and is available in Scandinavian import stores, online import shops and other places on the web.
Here's the finished product! I don't like it quite as browned on the bottom as the cake in this photo so I don't bake it as long. Some people dust the loaf with powdered sugar. If you do, wait until the cake is cooled or the powdered sugar will melt.
I like to give these almond pans as gifts, along with a Carl Larsson tray to serve the cakes on. I have given these to my sister and two sisters-in-law. They were a big hit! There are also many other Carl Larsson cake trays and larger serving trays in many other scenes besides this winter scene called "Brita With Sled".