Sunday, November 9, 2014

Swedish Kringle

I love the holiday season.  Starting from November until December 26th, I am like a little kid.  I can't wait for Thanksgiving to cook and eat with friends.  Then I get to decorate for Christmas.  I look forward to every last snow flake that might come...and some are predicted for tomorrow.  Today it is 70F and tomorrow we will have snow!  It is supposed to be 1-2 inches, but this week winter arrives even if it isn't for too long.

Last year I had a small group of friends over to celebrate together before Christmas before everyone went to where they were celebrating Christmas.  This year I decided to grow the table a little and have invited more people.  By heritage I am half Swedish.  My grandma used to cook a Swedish meal for Christmas each year, and so to honor the tradition I am throwing a Scandinavian Christmas brunch.  I have been pouring through my cookbooks and have come up with a tentative menu.  So today I started practicing with Swedish Kringle.  The recipe is close to the one Pat Sinclair has in her cookbook Scandinavian Classic Baking.  I have used this cookbook a bit, but am happy to have an excuse to make more from it.  The recipes are simple and come out beautifully.

Swedish Kringle
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water

1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 tablespoon heaving whipping cream (milk if you don't have whipping cream)
 Preheat the oven to 350F.  For the crust place the flour and butter into a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  (It should be pea-sized crumbs.)  Add the water and pulse until it comes together as a dough.  (You may keep it running to see how much water you need.  You may need more or you may need less.)  Divide dough into two balls.  On a lightly floured surface press it into two logs about 10 inches by 3 inches.
 Make the topping by bringing the water and butter to a simmer.  Once all the butter is melted, add the cup of flour and whisk until it comes together into a dough.  Remove from heat and set aside for about 5 minutes before adding the eggs.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time until each is fully incorporated.  Whisk in the almond extract.  Spread over the crust.
 Bake for 50-60 minutes or until lightly golden brown.   Cook on a wire rack or until fully cool.  As it cool the topping will collapse.  When it is completely cool, you can frost them.
 To make the frosting, mix the powdered sugar, butter and almond extract together.  Add 2 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream while mixing. Continue to add cream as needed to bring the frosting to the needed consistency to be able to spread the frosting.
 Cut into 1 inch pieces before eating.  This should make twenty pieces of kringle.

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