Once upon a time...
... a long, long time ago, there was this little geezer, who was very bored. "I want something to do!" yelled the little one, as he was lying there, snugly between all of his friends in the drawer - the cut out cookie shapes, the cheese cutter and the butter knife. "Come on, I can be of good use!!" he tried again, hoping someone would hear him...
The drawer opened. The little cutter looked up, hoping so much that... but no. They took his friends, the Whiskers out instead. "Wheeeeeiie!" they laughed, they couldn't wait to go tumbling and twirling!
After a little while they came back in the drawer, all nice and squeaky clean. "You know what we did, you know what we did??!" they asked the little cutter. "No" the little cutter answered - he was still a bit sad he hadn't been a part of the adventure. "Oh we twirled, and danced, and beat, and creamed sugar and butter! And eggs, one after the other! And lemon zest! And after that, we got a hot bath, and then they put us back here - but we just saw them kneading something!"
The little cutter got all worked up - it sure sounded like something he'd heard before! Maybe, just maybe... they were making klejner out there. Oh klejner, his favorite thing to cut! One long row after each other, then cutting the rows in 5 cm. bits, and then making a little hole in the middle of the cut-out! The drawer opened, he saw a hand - oh joy, they picked him up!! He cut, and swayed and tap-danced all over the rolled-out dough, watched the hands pick up the pieces and gently fold them around in a knot - all the pieces he'd help make:
Before he was even done, he saw the klejner being finished off in a deep pot, making them go all brown and crisp when they came back - it did look a little scary, and he was happy he wasn't the one going that pot.
- even though they sure did look nice when they came back.
The little cutter was getting somewhat tired know - there had been a lot of dough, but now there was no more left. He looked around, and saw all of the flour and greased paper and the jars with all the finished klejner. Imagine, without him, there'd be none of these. He relaxed as he was picked up one last time, put into a hot and soapy bath, dried off, and put back in the drawer with all of the friends once again.
And that my friends, is the true Christmas tale of the little cutter in the drawer...
Sorry for the weird timing of posting this one - as you can probably tell, I made these for Christmas and well, time just hasn't come around for me to post about them until now. Better late than never, and I suppose I can just consider myself in good time for next Christmas now !
Aunt Hannes Klejner - a traditionel Danish Christmas cookie
250 g. sugar
425 g. butter, softened
1 kg. flour
9 tablespoons cream
2 teaspoons cardamom
zest of 1 organic lemon
Cream the butter and sugar well, then add the eggs one by one, then the cream. Add flour, cardamom and lemon zest, switching to hand-kneading as the dough gets heavier. Leave in a cool place for about and hour. Roll out thin, about 5 mm. thick, and cut out - I'd say about 3 cm. wide, 6 cm. long, and don't forget to use your cutter! Cut a hole in the middle, and push one end of the cut-out through the hole - see above picture. Fry in palmin until cooked through (sorry, you'll have to test, tee-hee)
Palmin is this (actually really nasty!) frying medium, solid when at room temperature. I have no idea what the equivalent would be in other countries, but if anyone has any idea, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. Otherwise I'm pretty sure you could just fry them in any oil you'd use for frying beignet or doughnuts.