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Gingerbread Toffee

Monday, December 5th, 2005

Gingerbread Toffee

More toffee? Has the girl (or cat) gone crazy? Well, I just had to try this recipe. And the result? It tastes like Gingerbread dough, yummy! You’re probably wondering why I just don’t eat Gingerbread dough instead if it tastes the same, but raw cookie dough probably isn’t good for your stomach. Not as good as sugar!!

    Gingerbread Toffee
    (makes about 30-40 toffees)

    100 ml double/whipping cream
    50 ml golden syrup
    100 ml sugar
    1 tsp Gingerbread spice (or just mix ground cloves, ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Just make sure that you get 1 tsp in total.)
    1 tbsp butter

    Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and boil without lid for 15-60 minutes, until the toffee batter is 122-125 ° C. If you don’t have a thermometer you can do a ball test: at that temperature a drop of the batter should solidify in water and be possible to be rolled into a little ball. On my stove this batter took 15 minutes to cook on a rather low temperature.

    Put greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and grease it with unsalted butter. Pour the toffee carefully on the greaseproof paper and let it cool. Cut in pieces with a scissor and wrap each toffee individually with greaseproof paper.

    This recipe makes a small amount of toffee and your baking sheet will probably be too large for this amount of toffee batter. To avoid getting too thin toffees just do like I did: I folded edges on my paper, making a kind of form. Then I poured the toffee batter into the greased paper form.

Christmas Toffee

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

Chocolate and Lemon Toffee

Time flies and today it’s already second Advent, thus 2 candles of 4 should be lit. I finally managed to find the Advent candlestick but I had to put it away during the week as we had a photographer here to take photos of our home for our appartment ad. And now, of course, I can’t find it again. But at least the appartment is really neat and clean :-)

It’s only 20 days left to Christmas Eve and in Sweden it is very common to make toffee before Christmas. I never did that when I was a child, we didn’t have that tradition in my Polish family. But we did toffee at school and I recall that everything got really sticky. Anyway, yesterday I did Chocolate toffee and Lemon toffee, which both turned out really delicous. I found the recipes at a forum that I read regularly, but they can be found anywhere on the internet or in Swedish cookbooks.

    Lemon Toffee
    (makes about 70 toffees)

    300 ml double/whipping cream
    200 ml golden syrup
    300 ml caster sugar
    2 tbsp butter
    juice and zest from 1 lemon

    about 70 small toffee paper forms

    Put the toffee forms on a tray.
    Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and boil without lid for 15-60 minutes, until the toffee batter is 122-125 ° C. If you don’t have a thermometer you can do a ball test: at that temperature a drop of the batter should solidify in water and be possible to be rolled into a little ball.

    Pour the toffee carefully into each paper form. Repeat with all toffee batter. Store the toffee in a tin with greaseproof paper between each layer.

    Chocolate Toffee
    (makes about 30 toffees)

    100 ml golden syrup
    200 ml caster sugar
    4 tbsp butter
    4 tbsp cocoa

    about 30 small toffee paper forms

    Put the toffee forms on a tray.
    Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and boil without lid for 15-60 minutes, until the toffee batter is 122-125 ° C. If you don’t have a thermometer you can do a ball test: at that temperature a drop of the batter should solidify in water and be possible to be rolled into a little ball.

    Pour the toffee carefully into each paper form. Repeat with all toffee batter. Store the toffee in a tin with greaseproof paper between each layer.

First Advent

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Star

Christmas is slowly approaching, and today is already first Advent. The word Advent is derived from Latin and means arrival, the arrival of our Lord . First Advent is the beginning of the ecclesiastical year and the time while awaiting the arrival of Lord Jesus Christ and Christmas. The tradition is to light one candle on the Advent candlestick, adding on a candle for each following Advent Sunday until all four candles are lit. I didn’t find our Advent candlestick today ( which is hidden somewhere in our cellar) so we just lit some normal candles instead. Yesterday we had my brother and a friend over for some Adventsfika, and we ate newly baked Gingerbread biscuits (Pepparkakor) and Saffron buns (Lussekatter). We also drank warm mulled wine (Glögg) which is very typical before and during Christmas. Glögg is served in small small mugs and if you want you can add some almonds and raisins to your mug. I will provide you with the recipe for Lussekatter in a few days, so you also will be able to bake these typical Swedish Christmas buns.

Glögg - Mulled wine

A mug of warm Glögg with almonds and raisins.

Pepparkakor, almonds and raisins.

Pepparkakor, behind them are the almonds and the raisins.

Lussekatter - Saffron Buns

Lussekatter, Saffron Buns.

The whole table

The whole Advent table, with the Glögg heater in the center.

SHF/IMBB Cookie-swap Party!

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

Pepparkakor
The Groke, Little My and Moominmamma as Swedish Gingerbread biscuits

This is my entry to Sugar High Friday’s and Is my blog burning’s joint virtual cookie swap. Jennifer and Alberto have asked all food bloggers to share their favourite cookie recipes, creating a big virtual cookie swap. I want to share two recipes, both tried this week but already loved. The first one is ordinary Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Biscuits) which I baked today and the second one is Sunflower Seed Cookies which I made a few days ago. It was my first time baking Pepparkakor from scratch, and it was so much easier than I thought. Yesterday I prepared the dough and today I baked the cookies. The recipe is simple and you get an immense amount of delicious cookies, perfect now when Christmas is approaching. The Sunflower Seed Cookies are just delicious and they are so easy to bake. The cookies are chewy with a light taste of caramel; delicious delicious! Bake them now, you won’t be dissapointed!

Pepparkakor
Pepparkakor

    Pepparkakor

    200 ml water
    200 ml golden syrop
    425 gr brown sugar
    250 gr butter
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tbsp ground cloves
    1,5 tbsp ground cinnamon
    1 tbsp ground ginger
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    1 tsp ground Seville orange/bitter orange/pomerans (can be omitted if you don’t have it)
    1 kg wheat flour

    Bring the water, syrup and sugar to boil. Pour the mixture over the butter and let everything dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients. At this point the dough is very sticky, but it’s supposed to be like that. Let the dough rest in the fridge overnight.

    The next day you take as much dough as you need and roll it out on a floured surface. Cut out cookies and then bake in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius for about 8 minutes. Repeat, repeat and repeat as the dough will never end… :-) I made quite a lot cookies today, but I still have an enormous amount of dough left in the fridge so now you now what I will do tomorrow….

    When the cookies are cool, you can decorate them with icing sugar and a small small amount of water and a smaller amount of lemon juice (to keep everything white and nice).

Sunflower Seed Cookies
Sunflower Seed Cookies

    Sunflower Seed Cookies
    (adapted from Två Systrars Söta by Lisa Eisenman and Monica Eisenman)
    makes about 17 cookies

    200 gram room temperatured butter
    250 ml caster sugar
    4 tbsp golden syrup
    250 ml wheat flour
    200 ml whole wheat flour (grahamsmjöl)
    1 tsp baking powder
    2 tbsp vanilla sugar
    150 ml Sunflower Seeds

    Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Combine butter and sugar until white and fluffy. Add the syrup. Combine the dry ingredients and mix everything until you have a flexible dough.
    Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. On a floured surface, roll out every part of the dough to a length almost as long as your baking sheet. Transfer the 3 lengths to your baking sheet, leave space between them as they will expand. Sprinkle some extra sunflower seeds on the lengths and then flatten them slightly. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When a bit cooled, cut the lengths into diagonal cookies. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Easter Dinner

Saturday, April 2nd, 2005
I totally forgot to make a post about Easter Dinner so here it comes. We went to my parents and as usual we had a lot of food. The latest years my mother has calmed down and doesn’t cook as much as when we were kids, but she still makes a lot of food. So we ended up with an enormous amount of food to take home :-) But it’s one of the best things with holidays, when you get home and then fill the fridge with all delicous leftowers that you got from “home”.

Here is everything that we ate this Easter Dinner. Earlier years we had even more, but we don’t eat as much nowadays :-)

Starters:


Jajko Swiecone
(First we shared one of the blessed eggs and wished each other good health and other nice things, see previous post)


Eggs with mayonnaise and roe


Salatka z rakami
(Shrimp salad)


Salatka kartoflana
(Salad with potatoes, carrots, peas, mayonnaise etc)


Sledzie w smietanie
(Herring pickled in Créme Fraiche and onion)


Smoked Salmon


Kielbasa
(Polish sausage)


Kurczak w galaretce
(Chicken in jelly)

Main courses:


Fillet of Pork with mushroom sauce


Fish burgers


Fish in sauce

Desserts:


Makowiec z serem & Sernik
(Poppy Seed cake & Polish baked cheesecake)


Tort czekoladowy
(Chocolate cake)


Sernik na zimno
(Cheesecake)

Traditional blessing of the food

Saturday, March 26th, 2005


Easter Basket, Swienconka

As a Catholic and with a Polish origin, Holy Saturday is a day when we go to church for the traditional blessing of Easter food. We bring baskets containing samples of the Easter food, Swienconka, decorated in various ways. The blessing of the Easter food is an old and lovely tradition that I’m raised with. I don’t think that the tradition is common for all Catholics, only for Eastern European Catholics. People put great effort in decorating the baskets and it’s nice to look at the beautiful baskets at church.

The content of the Easter basket varies from family to family, and here are the most important contents and their meanings:

Pisanki: Coloured boiled eggs symbolize life and rebirth, and especially Christ’s Resurrection from the Tomb.
A peeled boiled egg: The same meaning as above, the egg is shared with the family on Easter Dinner.
Kielbasa: A spicy sausage of pork products, indicates God’s favor and generosity. In the old days, all types of pork were forbidden until the coming of Christ when it became acceptable.
Baranek Wielkanocny: A sugar lamb, representing Christ Resurrected. It’s a typical Polish Easter symbol.
Pepper and Horseradish: Symbolize the bitter herbs of the Passover and the Exodus.
Bread: Symbolizes Christ, “the Bread of Life”.
Salt: “You are the salt of the earth.”
Vinegar: Symbolizes the gall given to Christ at the crucifixion.
Wine: Symbolizes the blood of sacrifice spilt by Christ at the crucifixion.

In my family we don’t bless neither vinegar nor wine, and as I didn’t have any Polish sausage nor Horeseradish at home, I had to go to church without them. Tomorrow on Easter Day we will have an Easter Dinner and before the dinner begins, the whole family will share the peeled boiled egg and exchange best wishes to each other.

I wish you all a Happy Easter!