Thursday, December 20, 2012

Scandinavian Christmas: Day 8

I can't believe it's already day 8 of the series!  Today we get to hear from KJ who blogs at Lets Go Fly a Kite and pins on Pinterest here. She made some adorable Lucia dolls from clothespins that you should definitely check out when you get a chance. KJ is a talented crafter and has many creative ideas for crafting with kids.  Be sure to stop by her blog!  This is KJ's first year participating in the series and today she is going to share all about Kransekake. 


Hello, I am KJ and I blog about crafty messes over at lets go fly a kite.  My paternal ancestry is Norwegian.  My ancestors left western Norway in the early 1900s to settle the Canadian prairie.   They have always maintained a strong connection to Norway in language, food, and craft.  We participate in family reunions every five years and they rotate between Canada, Minnesota, and Norway.  Most recently, in 2010, I had the opportunity to visit Iceland and Norway and meet our relatives in Bergen.

Kransekake is a traditional Scandinavian desert.  Usually, it is made from marzipan rings and often served at weddings or Christmas.   For my sister’s wedding in 2001, we made a kransekake under the tutelage of a dear Norwegian friend.  





Here is another example from an extended family member’s wedding.


For Christmas, you might consider making a modern star kransekake.  My sister gave me these star cookie cutters for Christmas (this version is  available at William Sonoma). 


I wasn’t able to find a link to the WS recipe anywhere, so I am posting it here with my tweaks. 

5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
24 tbsp or 3 sticks of unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract
Parchment paper
Four baking trays

Cookie dough (must be prepared and refrigerated for at least 2 hours up to 2 days ahead)
Sift flour and salt set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat butter on high for 2 minutes (use the flat beater attachment).
Reduce speed to medium and slowly add granulated sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down bowl.
Add the eggs one at time and beat until mixed.

Add vanilla and beat for one minute, stopping mixer midway to scrape down sides.



Stop the mixture and add half the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed.  Add the remaining flour and continue beating for about 2-3 minutes until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a work surface and divide into 4 equal balls. Shape each ball into a disk and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 2 hours or up to two days.


Remove dough from the  fridge and let stand for 5 minute.  The dough may have to stand longer if it is really cold.  On a lightly floured surface , roll out dough for ¼ inch thickness.
Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut out cookies, 2 from each cutter and carefully transfer to your four baking sheets.   I found that  this recipe should be sufficient for 20 stars with a enough dough left over for a few extra small stars. 
Bake 13-15 minutes, but watch closely and if necessary rotate your pans half way through to ensure even baking (keep an eye on the oven!).
Remove from oven and transfer cookies to cooling rack. Allow to completely cool prior to icing.  I used royal icing, but the possibilities are endless, green sugar crystals would be pretty.





Some Tips :  Watch the oven and rotate your pans so that each pan is evenly baked.
It is easiest to bake all of your cookies at once, so if you can get your hands on four cookie pans, it makes the process easier.
If you find that the cookies are not completely flat or that your kransekake leans, you can compensate by secretly tucking in a piece of graham cracker or other biscuit


Wishing you a happy Christmas and if you are interested in another Scandinavian Christmas treat, I have posted instructions for krumkake here.
God Jul,

Huge thanks again to KJ for sharing her beautiful kransekake today! Check back tomorrow for Day 9!


  1. Thanks again for inviting me to participate this year! God Jul to you and your readers.

  2. KJ, this is a beautiful and I am certain very delicious project! The photos are mouth watering! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  3. A friend of mine who has Norwegian ancestry had a wedding cake like that, too ~ so unique. Your Christmas star version is very festive especially with all the details. It must have taken quite a bit of time, you did a wonderful job !

  4. What a beautiful dessert. I love all the history behind it too. It's been so much fun getting to know more about your heritage.

  5. Oh beautiful!!!

    We have photographed several weddings at which we had the opportunity to see these first hand!!!! So pretty.

    But I am especially excited because I have a set of multi=size star cookie cutters and a set of multi size snowflakes and you have just inspired me to make kransekake!!! Maybe two!

    Your star tree is simply beautiful!!! Thank you so much KJ.

  6. Tis is really smart. In Denmark we eat kransekage at New Year and I make my own every year. However I have never seen this christmas star version and I LOVE it.