Welcome to my Scandinavian heritage.
Growing up in the bluffs of blustery Wisconsin, my Christmases were filled with many delicious, but admittedly bland, Scandinavian treats. There is something so tempting and addicting about these simple confections. Maybe the lack of tooth-aching sweetness makes it seem acceptable to have four or five at a time. Whatever it is, I’m into it and you should be too.
One such treat is krumkake (pronounced kroom kah kah). While the ingredients are pantry staples, it does require a special iron to bake. I own an electric one passed down through the generations that leaks a mysterious black oil out the back every time I use it (it might be time for a new one). I have also used a stove top version with great success, although it does feel slightly more dangerous. You will also need a cone or rod to shape the finished cookies on, but any heat-proof version of these tools will do.
The finished cookies are usually kept in an airtight container and enjoyed as-is. I’ve taken the liberty of filling them with vanilla bean ice cream for an over-the-top treat. I also think they would be delightful dipped in dark chocolate or filled with pastry cream.
It is important to roll the cookies immediately after taking them off the iron or they will harden into a flattened shape. Of course you could also leave them flat and fill them as a sort of sandwich cookie with buttercream, a bit of chocolate, or dulce de leche.
What does your family traditionally make for the holidays?
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ to 1/34 cups all-purpose flour
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Preheat krumkake iron. If using a stove-top iron, place over medium heat. Once hot rub both sides lightly with butter.
- In a medium bowl, beat eggs until light. Slowly add sugar and beat until pale. Slowly add butter and vanilla. Stir in 1½ cups flour.
- Test the batter on the hot iron. Place a scant tablespoon of batter towards the back of the iron and press down. The batter should spread across the entire iron without leaking out the sides. If the batter is too thin, mix in another ¼ cup of flour.
- Each cookie will cook about 2 minutes per side (no need to flip if you have an electric iron). They should be a light golden brown. Once finished, remove with a thin knife and roll immediately on a wooden spoon handle, rolling pin, or cone. Allow them to cool before removing from the mold. Repeat with remaining batter.
- To fill cooled cookies, pipe or spoon vanilla bean ice cream or desired filling carefully into the cookie. Eat filled cookies immediately or store plain cookies in an airtight container for up to several weeks.