Don’t miss Fika and Hygge the new book by Bronte Aurell, with over 60 recipes for cakes, bakes, and treats from all over Scandinavia. We have a recipe to share…
What is Fika and Hygge?
Fika is the Swedish word meaning to meet up for a cup of coffee or tea over something delicious. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) means “a sublime state of cosiness you feel when you are with loved ones and nothing else matters”. Think warm log fire, a good movie, a cup of something warm, and a sweet treat…
Danish Vanilla Cookies Recipe
“Around the world, people buy Danish butter cookies in pretty tins, but those biscuits taste nothing like the home-made version. While writing this book, I had many discussions with friends about how to recreate a recipe that tasted ‘just like Grandma’s’, and found that it was harder than I first thought. Truth be told, nothing can replace the taste of those biscuits that she made – there was so much love in them, heaven and earth together can’t find a substitution. Still, after much trying, these do taste almost like my Mormor Erna’s did. I hope that one day, my grandkids will bake these and say they taste just like Grandma Brontë’s,” Bronte Aurell, of The Scandikitchen.
Ingredients (makes 40)
1 whole vanilla pod
250g caster sugar
250g cold butter, cubed
325g plain flour
pinch of salt
1tsp baking powder
75g ground almonds
50g finely chopped almonds
3–4 baking sheets, greased and lined with baking parchment
a strong, fabric piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
1. Grind the whole vanilla pod, including the skin, with 3 tablespoons of the caster sugar in a spice grinder or food processor. Sift out any big lumps and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer or food processor, combine the cold butter with the plain flour, a pinch of salt, baking powder and the vanilla sugar mixture. Mix with the paddle attachment or pulse briefly, until the mixture has a coarse, sandy texture.
3. Add the ground almonds and remaining caster sugar and mix again, then add the egg and chopped almonds. Mix until you have an even dough that is soft enough to push through a piping bag. Note: you will need a strong fabric piping bag for this and a larger nozzle as the dough is really, really hard to push out. It may help to warm the dough with your hands until mouldable. Alternatively, you can also simply roll these, but they will not have the pattern.
4. Pipe (or roll) the dough into 8–10 cm long sausages. Carefully connect the two ends of each to form rings and place on the prepared baking sheets. Make sure the dough is no thicker than the width of your little finger, because these will spread during baking. Chill the dough rings on the baking sheets in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will help the biscuits to keep their piped pattern as they bake.
5. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
6. Pop the cold tray into the preheated oven and bake the biscuits for 8–10 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly tinged golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and harden before eating. Store in an airtight container as the biscuits do go soft quickly.
The ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge – by Bronte Aurell, photography by Peter Cassidy and published by Ryland Peters & Small.
Read our interview with Bronte Aurell here.