Sweet Treats

As the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, you have to get your comfort where you can. For some, this might mean snuggling on the sofa with a good book and a steaming mug of hot chocolate close at hand. For others, it could be wrapping up warm in hat and gloves and going for a walk in the fresh end-of-autumn air with some friends or the dog. For me, it means cracking open the baking books and whipping up some sweet treats for my family.I’m all for comfort that you can eat.

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As I look out of my kitchen window at another dark and rainy day, then, what could be a better theme for today’s blog than doing some Danish baking? And, from the number of references I’ve seen to these items on social media over the last few weeks, it does appear to be hindbærsnitter season in Denmark.

I have to admit that it took me quite a while to figure out what these items were. The word didn’t exist in my Danish dictionary app, even if I removed the hindbær, which I knew meant raspberry. Google strangely translated them as raspberry harvester, which helped not one bit, but then I finally remembered to try a Google image search instead (like, duh!) and discovered that they seemed to be a kind of sweet pastry, sandwiched together with raspberry jam and covered in glacé icing. Pastry, jam, icing – really, what’s not to like there?

So, choice made, it was time to find a Danish recipe that I could use as a guide, for just cooking a Danish treat was not going to improve my Danish – I needed to actually follow the recipe in Danish, too! I chose this recipe in the end, mainly because I liked its name, Hindbærsnitter (som mormor lavede dem), but also because the ingredients list was fairly short, which made it seem less intimidating. Always important when you’re embarking on something new!

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However, I soon found that the ingredients list was the least of my worries. At first sight, the directions were just full of words and phrases I didn’t understand. I mean, Duolingo has taught me some pretty random sets of vocabulary over the last year, but unfortunately baking instructions was not one of them. I have to admit I felt a little bit lost!

Since I bake often, though, I decided that it was worth the effort to keep persevering with this new vocabulary as, chances were, I’d be able to use this new-found knowledge again and again. As a result, I can now confidently say that I know what dej is (dough or pastry), as well as a køleskab (fridge) and a bagerist (cooling rack), and I understand what I need to do when the instructions tell me to skær smørret (cut the butter), tilsæt flormelis (add the icing sugar), del dejen (divide the dough) or smør marmaleden (spread the jam). Handy!

I ended up cutting my dej into small circles and baking these for around 10 minutes at 190˚, instead of baking it in larger pieces as the recipe suggested, and they seemed to turn out fine. However, as everyone knows, the proof of the pudding (or, in this case, the pastry) is in the tasting.

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The verdict? Well, after just one nibble, my daughters were concerned about whether there were enough for us all to have second helpings. The 8 year old, a pretty fussy eater (even when it comes to cakes), actually declared them delicious. High praise indeed!

As for me, I’ve decided to put my newly-learnt baking vocabulary to use again soon by giving these muffins a whirl next… Fancy joining me? Or maybe you’re more of a savoury person? Or perhaps you want to give a Danish recipe a try without any language barriers? Whatever you decide to make, why not leave a comment below and let us all know how it turned out? 🙂

Catrin

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