Sunday, December 2, 2007

On The Second Day of Christmas: [DANSK] Vaniliekranse

It's 9.30 a.m., Martin just left for work and I snuck my computer with me into bed. Wham's "Last Christmas" is playing on the radio, it's grey outside and it's the first Sunday of Advent. Heh! Heeeee. I like December so far. Later today, we're going to my Dad-in-law's place for a little roll-the-dice present-game and food - we're bringing bread. The dough was done yesterday, so I just have to shape it, let it prove and bake it off. I have HOURS on hand, it seems, right now. Yes, yes - I need to wrap a couple presents for that game, and um... Did someone mention I have an exam in the middle of January? 'Cause I'm very good at ignoring that fact.

I oughta be planning what the whole of December should look like, when to bake cookies, when to take care of all of those things I still haven't done on my 2007 Foodie Dares, when to buy Christmas presents and - you know the drill, I don't have to keep rubbing it in, do I? Instead, I'm listening to the radio and contemplating leafing through a couple of the cookbooks that's occupying M's side of the bed as I write. Yes, I'm actually LISTENING to the radio - call me old-fashioned. I am, and I'm proud of it. I'm also going to set up a couple of posts for the next few days. I'm only two days in, and already I seem to have problems figuring out what to entertain with. Shesh!

Speaking of cookies - it seems I have totally forgotten I promised you a recipe last year. Shame on me. Here it is - these are probably my favorite Christmas Cookies around.

Vaniliekranse - a Family recipe
550-600 g. flour
200 g. potato starch
325 g. sugar
500 g. butter - semi-soft
2 pinches ammonium carbonate
5 vanilla beans - cut open and the seeds taken out. Stick the leftovers in your vanilla sugar or vanilla extract.
150 g. almonds - blanched and finely chopped

Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Rub in the butter, untill you get something looking like a coarse pie dough. With the warmth of your hands, quickly assemble the dough, and roll into logs that will fit into the opening of a meat grinder. Leave in the fridge, at least for a couple of hours, but preferably for a couple of days.

When ready to bake the cookies, take them out of the fridge and leave to get to room temperature - if you don't do this, it will be near impossible to get them through the meat grinder. Yes, you did just read the words "cookies" and "meat grinder" in the same sentence. What? ;)

This is the fun part, you know. You attach a star-shaped disc to the meat grinder - I have one that fits my KitchenAid meat grinder, and that works perfectly. The dough is simply too hard for using a star-shaped nozzle on a bag - at least this particular recipe is. So - on it goes. One by one, gently push the cookie-dough logs through the grinder - around here, this is usually done with one person pushing through dough, one person catching the dough, and one person shaping the dough. Baking Christmas Cookies is not a one-person job! :)

Once you have a sheet full, bake the cookies in a 190 degree hot oven, for about 8 minutes. They need to go just very ligthly browned around the edges, and no more. Allow to cool, and keep in airtight jars.

I have no idea how many cookies you get from this recipe, for some reason, I haven't noted it in my little book. Once I've made this years batch I'll get back to you.

Other cookies I might make this year:

Hazelnut Crescent Cookies
Mexican Wedding Cakes
Korova Cookies

Hey, I just made a list - that's almost planning! What are you baking?


Kalyn said...

This is about the only time of year when I would eat cookies, and these crispy types of almond cookies are my favorites!

Mandy said...

that's lots of vanilla beans! I can almost smell the vanilla through my laptop screen. :)

Cathy said...

Wow! That's a pricy recipe with all those vanilla beans... I'm thinking maybe two vanilla beans and some vanilla extract?

I'd plan to pick out my cookies this weekend, but the weekend is running short and I've yet to start looking at cookie recipes! All I've decided so far is that I'll be making two from the past - chocolate pecan bars (sort of like chocolate pecan pie) and Mexican wedding cookies with dried cherries and pistachios.

Kevin Kossowan said...

Always happy to see the 'dansk' pulled out. Last time I was there, I came home with as many recipes as I could - the coolest being their home-made elderflower extract for hot and cold drinks. So cool.

And this vanilla issue - so not a problem...I just ordered a pound that should arrive any day now..

Zarah Maria said...

Kalyn - these are my favorite too -classic, simple, yet really, really tasty!

Mandy - you feel like a queen, standing there with your multitude of vanilla beans - and yes, the smell is heavenly!

Cathy - a bit pricy, yes - but I bought a load of vanilla beans on eBay a couple months ago, and they really cut you a sweet deal. And besides, once you've shelled out the money once and for all, it doesn't seem so bad when you're fishing them out of the jar (as opposed to laying down the money just before you have to bake them)

Kevin - like I just said above, there's nothing like a whole lotta vanilla beans, and buying them on the internet, you get a great deal. Elderflower cordial - I'm still wanting to try that. They always flower during exam time, so I never get it done... Grr.;)

Per said...

Hi Zarah Maria:

30 years in the USA and we have not been able to find a suitable disk with a starshaped hole for the Kitchen Aid meatgrinder attachment. I could have some made (food quality stainless steel), but I need another 30 interested people to get a suitable price. They would have four differently shaped holes (large star, small star, circular, and a flat shaped one with ridges) just like the accessories to the 80-year old Ginge meat grinder we now use. Then I saw your mention of the disk and wondered where you got it?

Per N

Zarah Maria said...

Hi Per!

I hope you're coming back to check, 'cause I couldn't seem to deduct your e-mail adress from Blogger. It's so cool you're still making vaniliekranse, after 30 years abroad!

I bought my disk when I bought the meat grinder attachment for the KA - I bought it during Christmas season, so the disks where just nearby. I bought them here in Denmark, in Magasin to be exact. Mine is a slide-thing, you can get the idea from this photo: attachment. If you'd like, I could probably send you one - hey, maybe we could do a swap of some kind!;) Contact me on my e-mail, you can find the adress here on my site.

Patti said...

Patti writes to Per -
I am very interested in the disc for making vaniliekranse. Did you get one to fit your KitchenAid?? I would be interested in purchasing 6 or 7 if you can tell me where you found them? I especially want the star shaped & flat with ridges.

Per said...

Hello Patti:

Well, it's again time to think about 'vanilliekranse' and I am only a couple of steps closer to the accesory for the KitchenAid. Are you still interested in getting some? If so, please contact me at

I now know where to get the model that Zarah Maria has, but I like my own design better. It works like the accessory for the old Danish hand-operated Raadvad meat grinder but with the KA, of course.

All the best