Jewish cakes

In Norwegian these have a really un-PC name, Jødekaker (directly translated it means Jew cakes), but the name comes from the alleged fact that Sephardic jews brought the cookies with them when they immigrated to Norway. Anyone of Jewish descent know anything that resembles it?

It’s fairly common in certain parts of Norway, whereas in other parts, it is relatively unknown. I’ve grown up with this. My co-workers in another part of Norway looked at me in horror last year when I listed this as one of the cookies I would be making for Christmas because of the name.

It is probably the easiest cookie I’ve made for Christmas this year.

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Cranberry white chocolate cookies

One of the things I miss about living in Copenhagen is one of the cookies they sold in shops – white chocolate chunk and cranberry cookies by The Cookie Company.

Unfortunately, it is not to be found in Norway.

But, when I tasted the chocolate chip cookies I made with M&Ms, the base had the same taste as the cookies from Copenhagen.

I made another batch, and substituted the M&Ms with 200 g of chopped up white chocolate and 100 g of dried cranberries.

And they were yummy, and disappeared much too quickly.

Incredibly tasty Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Chocolate chip cookies come from Cook’s Illustrated, who call them perfect. I have to concur. These are delicious, slightly chewy, and flat-out yummy.

I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand, so I went with M&Ms. The result was a bit multicolored but that only added to the fun.

I had to take two aside for my parents; otherwise my sisters and I would have gobbled all of them down.

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Norwegian Christmas Cooking: Sirupsnipper

Or as a translation to English might be: Syrup Diamonds. Basically because they’re meant to be shaped like men’s cuff (hence the name in Norwegian) but actually look like the diamonds you find on playing cards. Well, they’re meant to. Mine just looks, er…, odd. But they taste good, and that is the most important thing, right?

These are also the kind of Christmas cookies that have been a staple in my home – chiefly because my grandmother has been making them. My mother, who makes almost every Christmas cookie under the sun, have yet to attempt them.  For that reason, but also because the recipe said they were complicated to get right, I’ve been stalling over whether or not to make them. It did take some extra care, but I am glad I did, because I got lots of positive feedback on the taste. Including from my Dad, who, I swear, is the world’s pickiest Christmas cookie eater.

It takes about two days to make, so that is something to take into plan.

This recipe has been adapted from 7×7 Slag by Tove Diesen.


2 dl light syrup.

1  1/4 dl sugar

1 dl heavy cream

225 g butter

1 egg, whisked

The zest of 1/2 lemon

1/2  tsp  powdered cloves

1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 tsp black pepper

ca. 500 g all purpose flour

1/2 tsp Ammonium bicarbonate/crushed hartshorn

For decoration

Scalded almonds. (White almonds)

Day 1

1) Bring syrup, sugar and the cream to boil in a saucepan

2) Pour the hot caramel mixture over the butter, so that it melts it.

3) Whisk until the mixture is cold and airy.

4) Add the whisked egg, the spices and the flour with hartshorn.

5) Let the dough stand in cold temperature (We used the fridge) until the next day.

Day 2.

1) Take only as much of the dough as you can comfortably roll out at the time. The warmer the dough is, the harder it is to work with, so use small portions. Leave the rest in the cold temperature-space.

2) Put the oven on, at 200 degrees celcius.

3) Roll the dough out fairly thin (how thin you roll should depend on whether you want soft cookies or crisp. Roll thin for crisp, and a bit thicker for soft.)

4) Cut out diamond (as in cards) -shaped cookies from the dough by using a cutting wheel. Or simply a cookie cutter.

5) Add the diamond shaped cookies to baking trays.

6) Paint the cookies with a bit of egg white, and add half an almond to the middle.

7) Bake for anything between 6-10 minutes, depending on oven. Ours were done after 6 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown, but not have black edges.

8) After the cookies come out of the oven, make sure they stay flat until they turn cold. Otherwise they will get a funny shape.

I had a bit of trouble getting the “proper” diamond, or cuff shape, of the cookies, so a few of them ended up as triangles, or squares.

Norwegian Cooking: Serina Cookies

The finished product
The finished product

When I was younger, I thought that these cookies were just a tradition in our family. See, my great grandmother was called Serina, and I obviously thought that was the reason for why we were making them. At any rate, they are a delicious butter cookie that you just keep eating and eating… and uh… soon there is nothing left. This recipe has been doubled from the original recipe, from Meierienes Prøvekjøkken.
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