Friday, December 16, 2011

A TASTE OF GINGER AND ALMONDS



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".

4 comments:

Maggid said...

Yum!!! Now, I'm on the lookout for these treats. Thank you for sharing . .
Merry Christmas to You!
-g-

WOL said...

Able to read it all and drool over the recipes. Hope you have a happy Christmas!

Jo (Pieceful Afternoon) said...

I saw heart shaped gingersnaps today at a store - almost bought some to mail to you - but figured they would be crumbs by the time they got there.

Love the cookie stories and recipes!

lila said...

What a pretty almond cake! It looks yummy! You are making me hungry, Julie!