Danish Christmas equals treats and sweets. Full stop. It won’t be a long post but I simply had to write about Danish Christmas treats and sweets. It’s so embedded in Danish culture and our tradition of hygge. You thought hygge was healthy? Well, in Denmark it’s also closely connected with cake. Doesn’t seem so healthy now, does it? *wink wink*. Anyhoo, not having a blog post about it was unthinkable and so here it is.
Starting off with a my absolute favourite Danish Christmas treat. For context: æble means apple, and skiver means slices. So directly translated they are apple slices which, obviously, is pretty misleading. They are actually pan-baked dough balls and is pretty much made of pancake dough but baked differently using a special pan. Back in the day they had small pieces of apple inside, and some people still make them that way, but most of us just buy them frozen in the store. They’re heated before eating. You eat them with jam and powdered sugar, or plain sugar depending on your preferences. In addition they are served with Gløgg, a hot spiced wine with almonds and raisins, probably resembling mulled wine. I’ve never tasted mulled wine but I’ve always imagine it being something along the lines of gløgg. If any British or American immigrants read my blog please correct me if I’m wrong.
On a side-note: I watched a Danish documentary (sort of) about Elk Horn, a small town in the US founded by Danish immigrants in 1901. They still had a lot of the old Danish traditions which we in Denmark don’t really do anymore. But some of the things they did was of their own invention. One example was that they ate æbleskiver for breakfast all year round with a type of Danish sausage called medisterpølse. As a Dane that was really fun watch because we obviously only eat æbleskiver at Christmas and with very different foods to accompany it. However I can’t blame them. Æbleskiver is a delicious treat.
We Danes generally likes marzipan and uses it where, I think, a lot of other countries uses fondant (not the liquid kind). The picture on the left is only one of many ways home-made marzipan (and nougat) confections are made. Usually people make little marzipan spheres or figurines, dips them in melted chocolate and adds extras like nougat or nuts. Sometimes the marzipan is flavoured with liquor like rum. I personally like marzipan a lot but can’t eat too much of it in one sitting. It’s very filling in taste alone and I totally get why some people don’t like it.
PEBERNØDDER, BRUNKAGER AND VANILJEKRANSE
Entering the realm of what I would call cookie/biscuit territory. In Denmark we call them småkager meaning small cakes. I would probably call them a type of cookie due to how they’re made, how they look and taste. On the left we have brunkager, brown cakes (cookies). Their taste is hard to describe but because they’re made with cinnamon and carnation spice (among other things) I think it’s safe to describe them as spicey. They’re good, though, and definitely very Christmassy.
Next up we have vaniljekranse meaning vanilla wreaths. At least their translation makes sense. They taste of vanilla, surprise, and they look like wreaths. That’s pretty much all there is to them. They’re actually not solely a Christmas treat at all but since I only get them for Christmas they’re Christmas treats to me. I’m pretty sure you can get them both in the UK and the US as well, maybe Canada as well? If not they’re really easy to make.
Last but not certainly not least we have pebernødder meaning pepper nuts. They aren’t nuts but probably got the name because they look like nuts. Pepper because they are made with pepper, ginger, cardemom and cinnamon. I suppose it’s unusual to use pepper in cookies but like the others above they’re very tastey. The biggest “problem” is that they’re so small so you can eat a latge amount without thinking you ate a lot. Sneaky little bastards.
And that’s it. A short post I know but sadly I couldn’t think of any more Danish Christmas treats and sweets to tell you about. With only 2 days until Christmas I hope you get to indulge in some delicious food of varies kind, and Christmas songs and films. Hopefully I will see you back here in 2 days for my last Christmas post where it’s going to be all about the traditional Danish Christmas.
What special Christmas treats and sweets do you have in your country?