Christmas

In our home, the main meal – a Swedish Smörgåsbord – is served on Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition I’ll never give up. All through December a lot of baking and glögg (spiced wine) making is going on.

Ulli’s Lussekatter (saffron buns) (serves 25-30)

  • 50 g yeast (3 t if using dry yeast)
  • 2 cups (5 dl) milk
  • 3/4 cup + 1T (2 dl) sugar
  • 200 g butter
  • 1 g saffran
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 cups (14 dl) all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
  • 2 raisins per bun for decoration.

Dissolve the saffron in a little milk.

Put some of the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the dry yeast. (If using fresh yeast, dissolve it in some of the milk.

Melt the butter and add the milk. Heat until fingerwarm. Add the dissolved saffron.

Add half of the flour, sugar, salt and eggs, one at a time, to the mixing bowl, and the liquid. Add the rest of the flour, a little at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. I use an electric mixer.

Let the dough rise for 10 minutes. Put the dough on a work surface and knead it a couple of minutes. Cut the dough in 25-30 pieces. Roll each piece out between your hands and make them into “S”-shaped buns. Put them on a parchment paper covered baking tray and let them rise 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 F/225 C

Brush the buns with the beaten egg and decorate with the raisins.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the buns are lightly browned.

Lussekatter/saffron buns: GF/DF (serves 15)

  • 25 g yeast,(1 1/2 t if using dry yeast)
  • 100 g vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup +1 T (2 dl) dairy free milk
  • 1/2-1 g saffron
  • 1 T psyllium husk
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 T + 1 t honey
  • 3 T + 1 t sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 1/2 dl) gluten free all purpose flour
  • 3 T almond flour
  • 2 raisins per bun for decoration
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten for brushing the buns

Dissolve the saffron in a little milk.

Melt the butter. Heat until fingerwarm. Add the dissolved saffron.

Put some of the flour in a mixing bowl and add the dry yeast. If using fresh yeast, dissolve it in some of the milk. Add the fingerwarm liquid and the psyllium husk and let it sit ten minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well for about five minutes.

Let the dough rise under a towel for 40 minutes.

Put the dough on a work surface and knead it a couple of minutes. Cut it in 15 pieces. Roll each piece out between your hands and shape them into “S”-shaped buns. Put them on a parchment paper covered baking tray and let rise for another 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 F/225 C

Brush the buns with the beaten egg and decorate with the raisins.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the buns are lightly browned.

Glögg (spiced wine)

  • 4 ” (10 cm) cinnamon stick
  • 2 pieces dry ginger
  • 2 strips orange peel
  • 25 raisins
  • 15 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 5 almonds
  • 1/3 cup (3/4 dl) sugar
  • 1 bottle of red wine

Pour the wine into a sauce pan and add all the ingredients. Heat it up, but make sure the wine doesn’t boil. Turn the burner off and let it steep until the wine has cooled off. Strain the wine and pour it back into the bottle. Keeps for many months.

Heat before serving. Put some blanched almonds and raisins in the cups before adding the glögg.

Ginger Snap Cookies

  • 1/2 cup + 2 T (2 dl) sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T (1 dl) syrup, I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T (1 dl) water
  • 200 g butter
  • 3 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 2 t ground cloves
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 4 cups (10 dl) all purpose flour

Put the sugar, syrup and water in a large saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolve. Add the butter and let it melt. Take the saucepan off. the burner and let the liquid cool.

Add the spices, baking soda and most of the flour. Stop adding flour when the dough isn’t sticking to the saucepan anymore. Put the dough in a ziplock bag and keep it refrigerated for a couple of hours or over night.

Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C

Cut off a piece of the dough and roll it out on a work space. Use cookie cutters of your choice and put the cut cookies on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Bake for 5-10 minutes. The time depends on the thickness of the cookies.

I only bake about a dozen cookies at a time. I love the smell of gingersnap cookies plus the cookies are always fresh this way. The dough keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Ginger Snap Cookies: GF/DF

  • 1/4 cup + 1 T (1 dl) sugar
  • 3 T + 1 t (1/2 dl) syrup, I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • 3 T + 1 t (1/2 dl) water
  • 100 g vegan butter
  • 1/2 T psyllium husk
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 1/2 dl) gluten free all purpose flour
  • 3 T almond flour

Put the sugar, syrup and water in a large sauce pan and heat until the sugar dissolve. Add the butter and let it melt. Take the sauce pan off the burner and let the liquid cool.

Add the psyllium husk and let it sit for ten minutes. Add the spices, baking soda and most of the flour. Stop adding flour when the dough isn’t sticking to the sauce pan anymore. Put the dough in a ziplock bag and keep it refrigerated for a couple of hours or over night.

Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C

Cut off a piece of the dough and roll it out on a work surface. Use cookie cutters of your choice and put the cut cookies on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Bake for 5-10 minutes. The time depends on the thickness of the dough.

Fruitcake: GF/DF

  • 175 g vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup + 1T (1 1/2 dl) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 3/4) gluten free flour
  • 3 T almond flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t psyllium husk
  • 1/4 cup + 1T (1 dl) dried raisins
  • 6 dried apricots, cut into small pieces
  • 6 prunes, pitted and cut into small pieces
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
  • 3 T cognac

Put the cut fruit in a bowl and add the cognac. Let the fruit soak at least one hour or over night.

Preheat the oven to 300 F/150 C

Mix the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time then the flour, and last the cognac soaked fruit. You can always add 1-2 T of water if the batter seems too thick.

Pour the batter into a greased tube pan and bake for one hour.

This cake tastes better if allowed to sit for at least a couple of days.

Cinnamon Raisin Fork Cookies: GF/DF (serves 50-60)

  • 200 g vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup + 1 T (1 1/2 dl) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g raisins, cut into small pieces
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups (5 dl) glutenfree flour
  • 1/2 t psyllium husk

Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C

Beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg, raisins, cinnamon, psyllium husk, and the flour mixed with the baking soda. Roll the soft dough into tiny balls and put them on a parchment paper covered baking tray. Flatten the cookies with a fork.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.

Microwave Chocolate Caramels: GF/DF

  • 1/2 cup (1 1/4 dl) dark dairy free chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/4 dl) sugar
  • 100 g vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/4 dl) honey

Put all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat on full effect for 2 minutes. Stir the mixture.

Heat on full effect for 3 more minutes (stop every minute and stir).

Pour the mixture into an aluminum foil covered dish, 8″x8″ (20×20 cm). Refrigerate until cool and hardened (a couple of hours or over night). Remove the aluminum foil with the caramels and cut into small pieces. The caramels can be wrapped individually to avoid them sticking together.

Gingerbread Cake

  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (2 1/2 dl) sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 T (1 1/2 dl) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 dl) all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 t ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C

Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, the flour mixed with the baking powder and spices and last the melted butter. Mix well.

Pour the batter into a greased tube pan and bake on the lower rack for 40 minutes. Test with a tooth pick. If it comes out dry, the cake is ready.

Red Cabbage: GF/DF

  • One head (2.2 lbs/1 kg) red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 1 t salt
  • 5 whole all spice
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 T honey or syrup
  • 1 T vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 T vegan butter

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Fry the onion on low heat 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add the cabbage, apples, salt, all spice and cloves and simmer for about one hour. Keep the lid on the pan. When the cabbage is soft, remove the pot from the burner, add the honey, vinegar or lemon juice. This dish can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for at least a couple of weeks.

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