The Lost Butterdejgs Kringler Recipe

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 Kringle

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.

steps

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The milk of human kindness should never be bottled up.

Unique Ornaments

Christmas TreeNow I went out and bought a whole bunch of ornaments for the Christmas tree at work, but ours at home is totally different. Our Christmas tree has a wide array of ornaments with very few matching because this randomness has been collected for over 15 years!

Many were given to the family by my grandmother and some were bought along the way but for us, ornaments have more meaning than just “ornament of 2008, 2009, 2010, etc”.

Some of the more unique ornaments on our tree are the hand-crocheted snowflakes that my grandmother made and starched. Each is a different pattern and I have about 16 of them. They are just lovely and delicate!

There are also these little porcelain bells that have been hand painted and detailed that I got from my maid of honor for my wedding (ahem years ago).

Either way, I’ve always liked the collage feeling of our tree because it’s personal. Some ornaments were bought, gifted or made. Some are wood, glass, plastic or crochet.  But put them all together and it seems like they just are meant to be.

 

Handmade snowflakes

Cinnamon Scented Pinecones

Leftover Pinecones from Thanksgiving!

Leftover pinecones from Thanksgiving!

Now nothing compares to a real tree for christmas, the scent of pine in your home is refreshing and nostalgic.  But not everyone can have a real tree. Especially places of business (dropping needles, watering, fire hazard, etc).

Now I’m all for the holiday season, so I recently surprised the ladies at work by decorating an artificial christmas tree in their waiting room.  It was an old tree that I had in storage for a couple of years and it was in need of some major TLC.  I bought new decorations, sparkles, lights, everything I could think of to give it new life in it’s new home. And that also includes the scent! (Now I don’t mean hanging pine tree air fresheners from hooks, keep those in the car) A quick trick I learned was to hide a few cinnamon scented pinecones in the branches and your artificial tree will smell like the attic no longer! Three or four will do depending on how scented you want it, you don’t want it to get overwhelming!

Pinecones in Christmas Tree

Sneak a few scented pinecones into your "fake" christmas tree!

Cinnamon scented pinecones can be found at just about any craft store or big chain store, but you can also make your own.  Collect some pinecones. (If you are like me you can just pick them up off the ground in front of your house!) Bake them on a tinfoiled pan at 200 degrees to harden the sap, let them cool and put in a ziplock bag with cinnamon oil and sticks. A week or so later you can take them out and glitter spray them or keep them natural.