- Food and Cooking
Scandinavian Krumkake Waffle Cookie Recipe
Cookie, Waffle or Cone?
Krumkake or 'Krum kaka,' meaning bent or curved cake, is a Norwegian waffle cookie.The cookies, or 'krumkaker' in the plural, are traditionally enjoyed at Christmas-time. While they really are considered a cookie, they are prepared like a waffle and rolled into a cone.
These cookies are popular in Norway and also with the descendents of Norwegian immigrants to the American Midwest. My family is included amongst the second group, and the women in our family spend hours preparing krumkaker for Christmas, along with other Norwegian treats, including Sandbakelse, Fattigman, Lefse and Rosettes. They are served for dessert after our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Swedish meatballs and lutefisk.
Krumkaker are made using a two-sided iron griddle, similar to a waffle iron, with decorative shapes that are printed onto the cookies while they bake. Krumkaker are rolled into small cones around a wooden or plastic form while they are very hot. Krumkake cookies can be eaten plain,sprinkled with powdered sugar, or filled with whipped cream or ice cream. You'll never want to use plain ice cream cones again after eating a krumkake cone!
Photo credit: StylishCuisine.com
This recipe is adapted from the About.com recipe for Basic Krumkake by Kari Diehl. Note the author's Scandinavian first name, which is the same as mine, and which rhymes with "starry," unlike the usual American pronunciation that rhymes with "berry But I digress...
The ingredients are pretty standard, except for the addition of cardamom, an unusual spice that is used in such diverse cuisines as East Indian and Scandinavian. If you can't find this spice in your local store, it is available at Amazon.com Don't substitute other spices for the cardamom; it's unusual flavor is what makes these cookies unique and so irresistibly delicious!
My Norwegian grandmother taught my mother to make these cookies. She in turn taught me, and I am teaching my daughters. If I had sons, I would teach them, too! The more the merrier when making krumkaker. In this photo, my mother is helping my youngest daughter to make the cookies.
- 1/2 cup softened unsalted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- Pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 6 TBSP water
- Remove butter from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up to room temperate so that it is soft, but not melted. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla or almond extract, salt and ground cardamom. Sift flour into the bowl and stir it in to the batter, mixing well. Add water until batter is the consistency of a thick cream sauce or pancake batter.
If using a traditional krumkake iron, lightly grease both sides with cooking spray. Heat the iron on the stove over a medium or medium-high burner until water dripped on the surface sizzles. Never cook using the highest heat setting or you may burn the cookies and damage the iron.
Drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the center of the iron. Close the iron, squeezing the handles together lightly. Try to avoid putting too much batter on the iron or squeezing the handle too tightly, or batter will drip out the sides of the iron. If this occurs, wipe the excess quickly with a damp cloth so that leaked batter does not flare up on your burner.
Bake for 30 seconds on one side. Then flip iron over, and bake an additional 30 seconds. Flip iron back to original position, open, and check to make sure the cookies are light golden brown.
If you are using an electric griddle, the process is the same, except that there is no need to flip the iron (obviously...) Most electric griddles have a light that switches on when the cookie is done, but I have found these lights to be unreliable. After about a minute, you can start opening the iron to check for doneness if you notice that your light is unreliable, too.
The photo shows the color that I prefer my krumkake to be, but some people like them a little bit more browned. It is okay to cook them a little bit darker and crispier, but the opposite is not true. Undercooked krumkaker will have a rubbery texture and will not hold their shape as well as fully cooked krumkake.
Remove cookie from the iron using a spatula or butter knife. Immediately roll the hot cookie around a krumkake cone or the handle of a wooden spoon. Allow the cookie to cool for a few seconds, until it holds its shape. Slip off cone and allow to cool on rack or a piece of culinary parchment paper.
In my experience, baking krumkake is much easier as a partnership. One person bakes, and the other rolls. Since krumkake has to be rolled while it is hot, it is easy to burn your fingers. Wearing Finger Cots or silicone finger guards can help to protect your fingertips.
Store finished krumkaker in an air-tight container to preserve crispness. Old fashioned cookie tins are a great storage option. I generally line the bottom of my tin with parchment or waxed paper, and place a piece of paper between each layer of cookies.
Handle the cookies with care as they crumble easily. Serve plain, or fill the cones with cream or fruit. They taste great with cannoli filling, too. Turn them upright and use them as ice cream cones for a special treat!
Amazon is a great place to find unusual items for the kitchen. When I purchase items from Amazon, I tend to stock up because qualified orders of $25 or more ship for FREE with Amazon's Super Saver shipping program.
Scandinavian baking has become a beloved family tradition each Christmas. My mother purchased krumkake irons and other Norwegian baking necessities for my sister and I, and she has some of her own, as well. We have invited several friends who join us year after year, so the kitchen is lively on baking day! Generally, two or more projects are happening simultaneously and the recipes get done lickety-split! Everyone goes home with smiles. great memories and tins of cookies for the holidays.
I hope that you, too, will enjoy these cookies and make them a part of your holiday traditions. SkÃ¥l!
More About Krumkake
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"A yummy cardamom flavored batter to use with a krumkake iron. These can be served plain or filled with flavored whip cream." - Trudee
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There are so many wonderful holiday foods and traditions. I would love to hear about some of yours! Feel free to leave a link to one of your recipes, but please be kind and link back to this recipe from your article or website. Thanks!