Monday, January 31, 2011

Christmas Cookie Emergency

Christmas in January

I'd been correcting yearbook proofs for going on four hours, when I made my move. An intervention was needed, big-time.

Just so happens, my SIL had already sent me some other homework to correct.

Every Christmas, Norwegians (and the in-laws, like moi), bake delicious seasonal delicacies: Lefse (sort of a thin potato pancake), Krumkakke (sweet, crispy cookies, baked on a griddle, somewhat like waffles) and Sandbakkels, a version of the sugar cookie, each one whipped up with brown sugar and pressed into a tin.

Sandbakkels, if you must know, are my specialty. Having married into a Norwegian-American family, I immediately embraced the baking traditions of the Upper Midwest.

Every Christmas, I set up a one-woman sugar-cookie assembly line.

My SIL, who is the real Norwegian in this tale, has practiced a kind of "sandbakkel fail," as my cherubs would say, the last couple of years.

Don't know why, but her cookies are underdone. They're overdone. They don't taste right, or, horror of horrors, the cookies stick to the tins and won't come out in their pretty floral shapes.

I suggested that she send me her sandbakkel tins, and her recipe (in case it differed from mine), and I would try them out. After 25 years of baking sandbakkels, I know my Norwegian sugar cookies. Just sayin'.

The package arrived last week. I had a passel of grading to attend to, and those darn yearbook proofs, so I put the cookie rehabilitation project out of my mind for the time being.

But yesterday evening, just after dinner, I started to hear Christmas carols. I swear, I could smell the brief hint of brown sugar and cardemom (a member of the ginger family, and the secret ingredient to sandbakkels). I started feeling festive.

Of course, there were those darn yearbook proofs. Whatever. I put them aside, and started baking cookies.

As you can see from the snap above, there's nothing wrong with my SIL's sandbakkel tins. Nor her recipe, which is the same as mine. I don't know why she's been in a sandbakkel funk, but I do know one thing.

We're celebrating Christmas again at my house this week!

Editor's note: Mrs. Scribe's Poetry Slam will return next Monday. We had to interrupt our previously scheduled program, as you can see, because of a Christmas cookie emergency.


Snuggle Wasteland said...

You're a nice person for helping your SIL out like this. Maybe it's her oven? Years ago my oven was acting funky and it needed to be re-calibrated.

Jeanie said...

Those look good enough to give me a little holiday spirit. It sounds like you have now become the official family sandbakkel baker.

Tara R. said...

You know what ''they" say about all work and no play. A cookie emergency seems like the perfect excuse to take a proofing break.

Susie said...

That's the Christmas spirit:-)

blueviolet said...

I'd have a hard time calling up the spirit again in January. Good for you!

Tracy P. said...

Great photo! My mouth is watering.

It has been a LONG time since I had sandbakkels! The tins, as of this moment, are now on the list of things that went at Mom's estate sale without me giving them a second thought--UGH! I never knew a thing about the cardemom. BUT, my neighbor gave Bethany some dough, along with the recipe, for some Christmas cookies that looked deceptively plain, but were out of this world, and the one mystery ingredient? Cardemom! So now that I have that connection, I just might have to buy some tins. Because if I can make lefse, surely I can make sandbakkels! Not necessarily as beautiful as yours though.

Kristin said...

I miss Christmas already. I'm loving the idea of baking cookies to channel the spirit in January!

The Blonde Duck said...

Christmas is even better not at Christmas!

Nance said...

Your poor SIL! She must really be letting it get to her if she's sending you a package and all. I'm with SW above. Sounds like an Oven Issue to me. If that doesn't prove true, I'd just leave those cookies to you and develop a new specialty to call her Very Own! Who needs the stress?

Sarah said...

Never hurt to practice. Christmas is just 11 months away!

Au and Target said...

Emergency cookies: love it! And nwo I'm hungry.

Guess waht? Au is better!!!!! So relieved...

Carol said...

Now that is a great emergency! great you were able to come to the rescue, they look good!

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