Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Memory: Krumkake

I've had all these Christmas-themed post ideas swirling through my head for the past month.  But then I've had some personal issues come up, so unfortunately I've been away.  I'm back with my family in good old North Dakota for the holiday season and am getting back into baking again.

The area I grew up in is full of people of Scandinavian descent.  I myself am largely made up of Scandinavian blood (with about 8 other different nationalities as well) and many of my childhood friends share similar lineage.  Every year since I was quite young, my friend Kelli and I have made a special scandinavian dessert called Krumkake at Christmas time.

For those not familiar with krumkake, it is a thin butter cookie that is cooked on a patterned double-sided griddle-iron, similar to a waffle iron, only much less deep.  The batter is cooked to a light golden brown, removed from the heat and then immediately rolled around a wooden cone-shaped tool.  They cool slightly on the cone and then are ready to be eaten!  They can be filled or dipped in chocolate, but we always just have them plain.

There really are not words to express the wonderful smell of krumkake as it cooks.  It also makes funny entirely unique squishy squeaky sounds as it cooks.   It is one of those desserts that define Christmas for me!

Tillie Olberg's Krumkake, circa 1925, as used by Kelli and Laura 

1 cup butter, melted
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1-2 tsp Almond Extract
2 cups flour (approximately)

1.  Pre-heat the krumkake griddle
2. Melt the butter and let it cool slightly (so that it will not cook the eggs).
3. Beat the eggs with the slightly cooled butter, the sugar and the extract. Slowly add the flour
4. Drop teaspoons of batter onto the krumkake griddle. Cook until light golden in color. Remove from the griddle and immediately roll around a cone or wooden roller.

Note about the flour:
The batter consistency should resemble something like a thin pancake batter, so add flour accordingly. More or less may be required depending on humidity.

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  1. Oh Laura! I love you! :) I'm so glad we have such a fun tradition.

  2. Hi Laura,
    Is this a family recipe? I have been doing family research on Tillie Olberg (my husbands great aunt) and wonder if this might be the same Tillie!

    1. The recipe is from a friend of mine. I can't remember if it's a recipe from her family or not? I'll ask her and get back to you!

    2. Hi Sandra!
      The recipe from Tillie Olberg was one I found in an old cookbook at my mom and dad's. I don't know who she was, but she had an amazing krumkake recipe! :) Wishing you great luck in your ancestry hunt!

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