Monday, December 16, 2013

Brunekager (Brown Cakes or Ginger Cookies)

I cannot believe that this month has flown by like this.  Yikes, it's almost Christmas and I have done absolutely no baking so far.  At least no Christmas baking.
And my Danish wants out and was insisting on some Brunekager this year.  So I decided to make some. 
Brune Kager

 I found the recipe my brother sent me, and then called him up to clarify the notes he'd made on the photocopied recipe, and along the way I also called one of my sisters to get her take on it as well.  She told me about our mothers' recipe for Brunekager.  And along the way I had a lovely chat with two of my sibs. I have to say, all of my siblings cook and bake.  And they are all extraordinary cooks.   My mom did good.

This recipe is kind of tricky, you need to let the dough rest in the fridge for a couple of days.  My brother says he doesn't bother rolling it out anymore, he just cuts thin, very thin, slices off of the roll.   However, I remember our cookie making days when I was growing up and mom rolling out the dough, and being very picky about how thin it was.   And we cut them into diamond shapes and also some rounds as well.  Such good memories, I feel very fortunate to have them.   This cookie is also very highly spiced, and personally, I love them that way.
And umm, I should have paid a little more attention to my brother as he kept on talking about cutting the recipe down a little, as in he divides the recipe into fourths and only makes that much.   Oh well, I now have enough cookie dough in my fridge to feed an army.  sigh.    

And I should add that the recipe was in Danish, so I had to convert the ingredients into English, but more importantly I had to get my scale out and start weighing out everything.  
 Melt the butter over low heat and add the sugar and the syrup.   Just until it all comes together, don't let it boil.
Sugar, butter and spices melting in pot.

   Add the spices to the mix and give it a good stir.


Take it off the heat.  Dissolve the Ammonium Carbonate in the hot water, and add to the pot.  Stir well.  It will foam up and smell like ammonia at this point, don't worry, you won't taste it.   Let this sit for a little while until it's lukewarm and then start adding the flour, one cup at a time.



At this point I let my Kitchenaid do the work of mixing the flour in.  It doesn't take long for a stiff dough to form.   Take the dough out and divide up into quarters or more.


 Go ahead and knead it a little, you don't want any air bubbles in there. 
 You can make a roll of the dough at this point or do as I did and make some rolls, and a couple of disks.   Wrap them well in some plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge for a couple of days.   They need a nice long rest, before baking.

When you're ready to bake, take one of the rolls out of the fridge and cut thin, very thin slices from them.   I'm just not talented that way and ended up rolling out the cut pieces to get them thin enough.


 The cookies should be no more than 1/16 of an inch thick.  Really, that thin. 

I also made some diamond ones, cause we always made them when I was a kid.   Just before baking press a little piece of slivered almond on top of the cookie.
I've also pressed in a little slice of candied ginger into the top of the cookie instead of the almond and have to say that it really tasted good.  Not totally Dansk, but then again, we all play with our food.







Brune Kager

I had a regular assembly line going here. 

Bake in a 395 deg. oven for about 6-7 minutes or until they just turn brown. 


























And don't forget to turn on the timer, cause gee, if you get caught up in trying to get the perfect shot, you can forget that there are cookies in the oven and they will come out like this.
They were a little, umm, over done.

But after all that, so worth the effort, and best of all I have more dough in the fridge, ready to bake.
Brune Kager

Brune Kager

I have enough for a party. 

yield: Lots- Over 12 dozen cookiesprint recipe

Brunekager (Crisp Ginger Cookies)

prep time: 45 MINScook time: 8 MINStotal time: 53 mins
These are the best little ginger crispy cookies you'll ever make. I don't add almonds to the cookies, I prefer to use a sliver of almond on top, cause that's the way my mom made them. This is a multiple day cookie, you make the dough and then you let it rest. But it is so worth it in the end. BTW, the ingredients are in Danish first, and to the right, the English translation.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 kg. Smør                                                     1 lb. Butter
  • 1/2 kg. Sukker                                                   1 lb. Sugar
  • 1/4 kg. Sirop  (1 3/4 dl)                                     1 cup Dark Corn Syrup
  • 4 tsk. kanel                                                        4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsk. nelliker                                                     1 tsp. ground Cloves
  • 1 tsk. ingefær                                                     1 tsp. ginger
  • 15 g Potask                                                       15 g. Ammonium Carbonate aka Baker's Ammonia
  • 1 spsk hot water                                                1 tbsp. hot water
  • 1 kg. mel                                                            8 cups flour
  • Slivered Almonds for decoration

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Melt the butter over low heat and add the sugar and the syrup.   Just until it all comes together, don't let it boil.   Add the spices to the mix and give it a good stir. Take it off the heat.  
  2. Dissolve the Ammonium Carbonate* in the hot water, and add to the pot.  Stir well.  It will foam up and smell like ammonia at this point, don't worry, you won't taste it.   
  3. Let this sit until it's lukewarm and then start adding the flour, one cup at a time. Let the Kitchenaid do the work of mixing the flour in.  It doesn't take long for a stiff dough to form.   
  4. Take the dough out and divide up into quarters or more.  Go ahead and knead it a little, you don't want any air bubbles in there.   
  5. You can make a roll of the dough at this point or do as I did and make some rolls, and a couple of disks.   Wrap them well in some plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge for a couple of days.   They need a nice long rest, before baking. 
  6. When you're ready to bake, take one of the rolls out of the fridge and cut thin, very thin slices from them.   I'm just not talented that way and ended up rolling out the cut pieces to get them thin enough. The cookies should be no more than 1/16 of an inch thick.  Really, that thin.  Bake in a 395 deg. oven for about 6-7 minutes or until they just turn brown.
  7. *Ammonium Carbonate is also known as Baker's Ammonia and is an old fashioned leavening agent used mostly in old fashioned recipes such as this one.   It makes the cookies extra crisp.  15 grams is equal to 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon
Created using The Recipes Generator
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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