Friday, October 14, 2016

Apple time!

Last month we took a family trip to Oak Glen for some apple picking, donuts, and cider; it was the best! Astrid loves being outside and loves nature. It was so fun to watch her explore and carry around the same apple for an hour. A month later, I finally get around to going through the pictures! 

A fun time was had by all!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Christmas is around the corner!

It's about this time of year when I start getting Christmas on the brain. Yes, I'm definitely one of those people who watch Christmas movies unacceptably early and start listening to Amy Grant come October (ok ok, I've already listened to her Christmas album once...). I just love Christmas time.

Since we had Astrid, it's been really fun talking about what kinds of traditions we want to have as our own family of 3. We always are traveling to our respective families homes for the actual day, but for the past few years we celebrate just us on New Years Day. I love waking up at home and drinking coffee by our tree. It's the BEST! And now it's even more exciting that Astrid is in the mix. I think she will be really into everything Christmas this year, including the cookies!

In the spirit of Christmas soon approaching, I decided to do some prelimary "research" on what cookies to make this year. So I bookmarked some new Swedish cookies I haven't made before and decided to bake and eat my way through them to see which ones would make the cut for this year's Christmas. It's tough work, but someone has to do it. 

First, I baked these Almond Spice cookies from the famous Swedish cookbook Swedish Cakes and Cookies (or Sju Sjorter kakor in Swedish). I love a good spice cookie in wintertime and these didn't disappoint. Be warned though, they are subtly spicy, not like gingerbread or pepperkakor. They only contain cinnamon and cardamom for the spices - one of my favorite spice combos!

Ready for fika!

I really enjoyed the texture of both the ground almonds in the cookies, and the pearl sugar on top. And don't worry, I didn't eat the entire place of cookies.

Verdict: I liked them! Especially warm from the oven. After I bake through more recipes, I'll do a final verdict of what makes the Christmas Cookie list for 2016 - these are definitely a contender!

Swedish Almond Spice Cookies
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2/3 cup ground almonds (I used blanched, slivered almonds and gave them a quick grind in my food processor)
Garnish with pearl sugar 

Preheat oven to 400. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg. Combine remaining ingredients and add, kneading lightly. Form into small balls and roll in pearl sugar and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Notes: I found 10 minutes was perfect - the bottom of these cookies seemed to brown quickly. I would check them early. They didn't stick to the pearl sugar easily when I rolled the balls in; I had to gently push the sugar into the dough. If you don't have pearl sugar, I'm sure regular sugar would suffice  but you'd miss out on the crunchy texture that it offers. If you have a local IKEA you can check their pantry section - they used to carry it in the past at ours, but I haven't seen in there in about a year now.

Happy Fika-ing! :)

*This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions remain my own

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Time For Cake!

I have been really into trying new cake recipes these days. You may remember me saying in the past that I'm not much of a cake person, well, my friends, that has changed. 

Lately, I've been baking tons of the cakes from the Fika cookbook. [sidenote: this is one of my most favorite Swedish cookbooks ever - so many make-again recipesMost recently, this scrumptious fyriskaka, or apple cake. It has everything you'd want for a Swedish fall cake - apples, cardamom, cinnamon and it pairs wonderfully with a strong cup of coffee. 

First, you will need to gather your apples. It helps if you have a really cute assistant. 

9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 heaping teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
3-4 medium apples
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter and add the cardamom, set aside. Peel and slice the apples thinly and toss in 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the cinnamon. 

Combine the cooled butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder. Spread batter into the pan and place the apple slices in the batter in a circular formation. Top with remaining brown sugar and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes up clean.

I highly recommend making this vanilla sauce to pour over top, or serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Before baking:


Fresh from the oven:

Happy baking!

*this post may contain affiliate links but all opinions remain my own