God Jul! Merry Christmas! Growing up, this season was definitely my favorite time of year, and as an adult I still love it. The month of December is filled with anticipation and joy, get-togethers and sweet exchanges. We send love to family and friends. We share and we give.
Christmas and cookies go hand in hand. For as long as I can remember, my mom has made at least five different, traditional Christmas cookies. When we were younger, my sister and I would help her bake. We’d compare cookies with our friends and it was exciting to see what their families had made.
The two cookies on my holiday menu, are traditional Danish Christmas cookies without which there would be no Christmas. I also have Æbleskiver on the menu. Directly translated that means Apple Slices in English, but that is a deceiving name as you will find out below. For me, they are tied to beloved traditions and cherished memories.
Gingerbread Cookies with Almonds, $12 for 20 cookies
I think most Danes would agree that you have to have these cookies, called Brunkager in Danish, as part of your holiday celebration. When baking them, the whole house is infused with the delightful smell of Christmas, and when tasting them, you know this cherished holiday has arrived.
Spiced Cookies, $14 for 20 cookies
This little cookie, called Pebernød, is Christmas in a mouthful! With cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, it will fill you with that warm, wonderful feeling that the holidays bring. I have many fond memories of my mom making the dough, and my sister and I rolling the cookies, giddily anticipating Christmas. Now my son is making them with my mom and for him it’s a special time of “hygge” with Mormor (Grandma).
Æbleskiver (Apple Slices – direct translation), $14 for 15
Æbleskiver is something Danes mainly have around Christmas time, served with a little powdered sugar and jam, personally I prefer a good blackberry jam. They are round (not slices) and do not contain apple, but they do offer lots of flavor with cardamom as the main spice and a little bit of beer in the batter. There are slightly different variations, but the recipe I use is a family treasure that shall never be changed. Once my mom offered us æbleskiver from another recipe, which we quickly rejected, and it was agreed that we will always stay with the “old” version.