Krumkake : A Cookie Fit for a Viking

Five years ago, my friend Ann and I went on an epic Scandinavian adventure. We spent 11 days, travelling across Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. We ended up seeing all kinds of ships on this vacation – the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, the Viking Ship Museum and the Amundsen Museum in Oslo. We even (accidentally) got a free water taxi across the harbor in Oslo.

Ann and I travel well together. We want the same things while travelling, which is to say, a little sight seeing, a great hotel, afternoon naps, and good food. A good dinner while on vacation is a must for me. We always treated ourselves to wine and cocktails and, of course, dessert. The Scandinavians are a dessert-loving people. I respect this. They somehow balance the freshness of their cuisine – fish, salads, vegetables – with delicious pastries and cookies and ice creams. You will not go hungry in Scandinavia.

In memory of our excellent trip, I made krumkake, even though we didn’t actually ever HAVE krumkake while in Scandinavia. Hmm. I’ll have to go back and fix that.

Krumkake (KROOM-ka-kuh) are a Scandinavian cookie that are made of a thin batter and pressed between the plates of an iron, like a waffle, then rolled onto a wooden cone. They’re delicate and light, and perfect for summer get-togethers when you want to serve something pretty and fresh that won’t weigh your guests down. I’ve had them filled with sweetened whipped cream, fruit, ice cream, and one particularly memorable time, a Nutella buttercream. Stop the presses. That was delicious. The cookies themselves are more a pretty vehicle for the filling, but I have to say I find an unfilled cone a delicious accompaniment to an afternoon cup of coffee.

You do need a special iron for this, although I’ve heard a pizzelle press would work well, too. Here’s the recipe I use for my krumkakes:

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs

Combine the melted butter and the sugar, and mix well. Add the eggs. With a hand mixer, mix until it is pale yellow in color. Add the milk and four, and continue to blend until the mixture is smooth. The batter should flow easily but slowly off the back of a spoon.

You can add some flavors into the batter at this point. Some ideas:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground almonds

Pour one tablespoon of batter on a heated iron. Adjust the cooking time to get a golden brown cookie; it should take about 2 minutes. When it’s done cooking, remove it from the iron and wrap it immediately around the wooden cone to shape into a cone. Press the seam against your cutting board to seal while it cools.

Once the krumkakes are cooled, add your choice of filling and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes about 20 krumkake.




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