berlinerkranser

This recipe makes a lot of cookies. A lot! I used half my dough yesterday, and I got 30 cookies out of that. The recipe says it makes 48, so perhaps mine are on the small side, but either way, that’s quite a few cookies! The other half is in the fridge, waiting to be baked this weekend. My friend Eric‘s birthday was yesterday, so I baked the first half for him and handed them off last night!

Berlinerkranser are named after Berlin, for whatever reason, and they’re basically little round cookie rings made from flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. Simple and delicious, this is definitely a recipe you can add to at will to spice it up if you’d like, but I made the recipe as written and these cookies stand on their own just fine. They’re not something to make in a hurry – once you make your dough you refrigerate it from 4-8 hours (I let mine refrigerate overnight). Being a rather inexperienced baker I had a moment of mild panic when I pulled my dough out of the fridge in the morning and it was rock hard, but I let it warm up for about twenty minutes and I was able to slice pieces off and added a little bit of water to make it more workable to form the rings. They looked a bit like oversized Cheerios before being baked, or tiny donuts, which was kind of cute.

After you form your rings you dip them in egg whites and then in sugar. I got a little overzealous on my first batch and sprinkled sugar on top of them after place them on the baking sheet, which just meant that the centers filled with sugar candy crystals as they baked, but the second batch went without the extra sprinkles and thus maintained their center holes.

All in all the recipe was simple to follow, the cookies are delicious, and I’m pretty happy I’ve still got dough in the fridge to bake!

mandelflarn

After the enormous klippekrans and the pastry-like herttaisetrinkil├Ąt, I decided I wanted to go for a cookie this time for something a little quicker and easier. Cookies don’t need yeast, they don’t require waiting around for dough to rise, and they’re small and manageable (not to mention tasty). I picked out the mandelflarn, which are Norwegian almond cookies, because they sounded delicious and looked simple.

I was happy to discover that they are quite simple indeed – the book describes them as spreading out “thin and crisp as they bake, with pale centers and crisp, golden edges.” The only thing that caught me off guard was that I had no idea just how much these cookies flattened out in the oven. I’d say the diameters of mine increased by about 2-3 inches, and they only started around 3 inches across. Alarmed at first, I worried I’d made some huge mistake in the rather short list of instructions, and had to do a Google image search. Thankfully, the internet soothed my fears by providing pages of photos of flat, crisp looking cookies, just like the ones I had baking in the oven. I waited until the edges began to brown before removing them.

After the cookies have baked, you have the option of cooling them flat or over a foil-covered dowel or other cylinder to give them a U-shape. I opted to try a few of the rounded ones and let the rest cool flat. I think I prefer the look of the cookies flat – but they taste great either way!