Great Grandma Minnie’s Kringle
Minnie was a kitchen goddess, although in that day a wiz in the kitchen was just called a wife. She loved butter and cream and kept sugar cubes on the table that I could eat anytime I wanted. She had egg coffee on the stove and always a tin of homemade cookies within reach.
When we visited Minnie and Eric on the farm I got to play in the yard with the dog and my cousins. We snuck off and hopped in the hay in the silos until Great Grandpa Eric found us and read us the riot act. Apparently hopping in hay silos is very dangerous. When they got older and moved to town, I got to play in Minnie’s jewelery box with all its glittery glory. Well, as glitzy as a farmer’s wife ever has it.
The highlight of the visits were always the warm hugs and kringle slathered with salted butter served with a glass of cold milk for us under 3 ft and egg coffee for those over. The kringle was always refered to as Norwegian cookies but in the 17 years I have been in Norway I have never encountered these cookies. There are many bakeries named Kringle and I see in the store the classic kringle shaped bread like things but they do not taste or look the same.
Other cookies like Rosettes, krumkake, and fattigman are the same – maybe one or two small changes between the American-Norwegian and the Norwegian version. Lefse in Minneapolis is almost exclusively potato cakes or potetkaker as they are called here. I have rarely seen flour lefse in Minnesota and it’s too bad too because it tastes much better. Last year when we were in Minneapolis I had to check out Ingebretsens THE place to procure Scandinavian food items but there was no flour lefse, just potato lefse.
Back to the Kringle – Great grandma’s kringle was laden with farm fresh goodies like cream and sour cream and I find her same recipe many places on the internet with one glaring difference. After the cookies are baked, they are dipped in boiling water and left to dry on a rack. Which makes them soft and chewy. It is important to keep them in tins with paper towels so they don’t get soggy.
Minnie had nimble fingers and made a lovely infinity symbol with her kringle, Grandma made nice eights with her ends all tucked in. I make lazy eights with and without ends showing – which makes them a bit more interesting. You need to make sure that everything touches so you get a good surface to butter and remember the butter goes on the bottom. You can also dunk them in your egg coffee if you want to.