Saturday, September 14, 2013

Norway's Best Pepper Cookies - Baking GALS Round 23

Back to Baking GALS!  August is always a hairy month for me in the kitchen – I feel like I’m running around non-stop the whole month between vacations and generally just spending as much time outdoors as possible…not to mention just being exhausted when I get home from work after being so busy doing catch-up work when I actually am in the office.  At any rate, I got my shipment out for September and this was a good one, in my humble opinion.

If I haven’t mentioned it, I’m Norwegian (well, nearly half anyway) and my mom being very proud of that heritage has trickled down to me.  Enough so that I’ve recently even started a little bakery business called what else, Bakeri – the Norwegian word for bakery. I’ll do a full post about the business very soon so stay tuned (and start thinking of what you’d like to order!), but as I’m creating the menu, I of course need to make sure I have a couple Norwegian staples on it right?  Enter these pepper cookies.  Scandinavians like things with a little kick – think of all those Swedish ginger snaps that are out there…slow, warm heat.  Same idea here.  Mix some black pepper with the favorite ingredient of cardamom and again, slow, warm heat.  Sweet, savory and spicy all at once – it’s unique and delicious.  I found this recipe while searching online and I’m declaring it a keeper!

Pre-baking.  That's not kosher salt on top - it's Swedish Pearl Sugar!
Just out of the oven.
Recipe adapted from Embassy of Norway, Washington DC


1 1/8 cups butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp baking soda
3 ¼ cup AP flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp baking powder

*Note, it is not an omission – this recipe does not call for eggs.


Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the cream. Add the baking soda and little water (no more than 2 tablespoons) to the butter mixture.

Sift the spices, baking powder and flour into the butter mixture. Blend until a nice uniform dough is formed. Roll dough into sausages about 2-1/2 inches in diameter wrap tightly and let dough chill thoroughly. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Remove chilled dough and cut into thin slices. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 6 to 8 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire rack.

*Note #2 - I did not do this “sausage” method – I just chilled the bowl of dough in the fridge for 30 min or so, then used a medium-sized cookie scoop (about 2 Tbsp) and flattened them slightly. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mish-Mash Marshmallow Treats

I spent the last unofficial weekend of summer at a beach house in the Outer Banks with several friends.  It was a great time.  We all contributed food for the weekend and one thing I brought was Trail Mix.  I love the Costco brand – I don’t like very many types of nuts and this one has all the ones I do like…cashews, almonds and peanuts.  Add raisins and M&M’s and bingo – an awesome concoction.  However, when there are 6 people bringing food, you have lots of leftovers.  I think I came home with about 498 of the 500 cups in that bag so I am trying to figure out what to do with it all, short of laying in a pile of it and eating my way out...though I’m not sure I’d have time for the exercise routine I’d need to counteract that.

In scrounging around the kitchen I found a bag of marshmallows from a camping trip a couple months ago.  That made me think of Rice Krispies treats, but of course I don’t just have Rice Krispies lying around.  Now Kashi, on the other hand, well I always have a couple varieties of that.  And hey, no harm in making a slightly healthier version of the classic, right? 

So here’s the mixture, and yeah, it works – it’s quite good, almost like a granola bar - almost.  Now only 496.5 cups to go…

3 Tbsp butter
1 bag Jet-Puffed marshmallows
4 ½ cups Kashi Puffs Cereal
1 ½ cups Trail Mix – I used Kirkland brand from Costco


Melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir to coat.  Stir occasionally until completed melted.  Add cereal and trail mix and stir until everything is coated in the marshmallow mixture.  Spread evenly into a greased 9”x13” pan and let cool completely (you can put them in the fridge for a little to speed things up).  Cut into squares and serve.