Everyone has that one lost recipe in their family. For me it’s two. You know the one, so and sos great great mother’s mother on your father’s side… and sadly the recipe was lost when she passed away. Back then no one wrote anything down or measured. It was all by feel of the dough, pinches and dashes, handfuls and taste, and sadly is now a lost art.
So let me give you a little history on the Butterdejgs Kringler recipe. My grandmother used to make these little Danish pastry cookies for Christmas and with her passing the recipe was lost. My mother and I have tried in vain to recreate the recipe with FoodNetwork knockoffs, Epicurious, AllRecipes, you name it, I’ve searched for it online. Now Kringle or Kringler can be confused with a coffee cake type recipe that uses yeast and cardamom and this is NOT that recipe. This recipe is a light flakey almost pie dough like pastry cookie and has many slightly different variations.
So how exactly do we know that these recipes are incorrect? Luckily my father has a very sharp palette and can tell with one bite that it’s off, (this magical talent of his also applies to the “lost cinnamon roll recipe” that I’ll make in another post.)
This past Christmas we stayed an extra day at my mom’s and I see in her kitchen these very old cookbooks that are basically for decoration. We are talking pre-1800’s. So I’m flipping through them and she is giving me a little background on whose books they were and how they came to be on her shelf. We were laughing at how they “measured” things back in the day but I wasn’t really paying attention at the recipes until all of a sudden my mom pipes up, “Where is your father!? I need to show him this!”
Sure enough, in a handtyped leaflet that anyone could have overlooked, she found a danish Kringler recipe! After reading it, it seemed so simple! But certain simple things like keeping everything cold, pounding the crap out of the dough or whipping the cream are the things that can change a recipe in just the slightest way so it doesn’t taste right (or how you remember). So today is the day that I will try my hand at this old family recipe and also share it with you. So I present to you the Butterdejgs Kringler:
Butterdejgs Kringler (Danish Pastry Pretzels)
2 cup flour
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup butter
It is important that everything be kept cold.
Whip the cream. Stir into 1 1/2 cup flour (Using the other 1/2 cup for rolling and pounding out the dough.) Roll out dough on cold bread board. Slice the cold butter and lay on the dough. Roll up dough and start pounding flat with cold rolling pin. Fold over again and again, pounding each time until all the butter has disappeared and small bubbles appear on the dough. Let dough rest in refrigerator two hours. Divide dough in two, roling out one part at a time, “As thin as a straw.” as they say in Danish.
With a cookie wheel or knife, cut into long strips 1/2 inch wide and 12 inch long. Shape into pretzels or ribbons, dip in sugar gently, or spread with beaten egg white and dip in sugar. Place on ungreased, COLD cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F. until very light brown.
The milk of human kindness should never be bottled up.