Friday, December 16, 2011



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:


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".


Maggid said...

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

WOL said...

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

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) 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 Rostenberg said...

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