Krumkake

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Everyone has a favorite Christmas cookie; mine are undoubtedly Krumkake. They remind me of both my grandma and heritage, boasting a classically delicious flavor. Krumkake is a Norwegian waffle cookie, cooked paper thin on a special iron then rolled into a cone shape.

The process of making these are fairly simple but require a good amount of time and patience. The key is getting the iron at just the right temperature to cook evenly on each side. It takes one or two goes to achieve this method, but don’t give up! I promise the patience is worth the effort + the end result is a crumbly, delicate cookie with a subtle punch of vanilla and cinnamon.

Once made + cooled, these can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for a few weeks. Feel free to add a cream filling if you’d like or dust them with powdered sugar. Or leave them as is + enjoy with a cup of coffee. Enjoy your holiday baking & thanks for stopping by!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic butter, room temp
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1.5 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Cream together the butter + sugar for 2 minutes using a mixer or in your Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. One at a time, beat in the eggs until the batter thickens slightly & takes on a slight yellow tint.
  3. Mix in the flour, milk, cinnamon + vanilla extract until just combined. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Over your gas range, heat the Krumkake iron on medium heat until a drop of water sizzles when dropped on the center of the closed iron.
  5. Open the iron + lightly coat with nonstick spray. Spoon 1 tbsp of batter in the middle of the iron & close.
  6. Cook for 1 minute on each side until the cookie is golden brown.
  7. Open the iron & Gently remove using the tip of a sharp knife. Roll immediately into a cone shape. (The iron should come with a cone roller, if it doesn’t, roll them by hand in a cigar shaped manner.)
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on a rack. They will crisp up as they cool.
  9. Repeat until the batter is used, adding a tablespoon of water as necessary if the batter becomes too thick.

Gatherhaus Interviews Girl Meets Kitchen

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Image by Studio Laguna Photography

It’s a rarity in life to find myself rendered speechless. Anyone who knows me would no doubt attest to the validity of this statement. The freedom of expression vibe is pretty strongly engrained in my bones; I am Scandinavian, after all!

I had the absolute pleasure of being asked by the two creative minds behind Gatherhaus, Katrina + Danielle to come into my kitchen last week to interview me about Girl Meets Kitchen. I was humbled beyond words to have been asked and the morning quickly crept into midday while we chatted & ate at my kitchen table. The article left me speechless…well I guess not for too long since I am writing about it here.

For those new to Gatherhaus, it is “the enchanting reality of bringing these rare and beautiful pieces together. People, places, art, and food that inspire us and make us chase after dreams of deep, rich community and fulfillment.” Check out the site + subscribe to their updates: Gatherhaus

These women ooze creativity. Katrina is a highly skilled photographer (partnered with her husband, John) in the Twin Cities Studio Laguna Photography, (she also photographed our wedding!) and Danielle collaborates on more creative ventures than I could keep track of while also running a business out of her home. Both women have a passion for all things local, sustainable, creative + have the most amazing hearts. They are mothers, wives, successful business women with a drive to pay it forward & keep rooted in their communities. Did I mention insanely artistic? Because, wow.

I was honored to have been asked to highlight Girl Meets Kitchen. It was done in such a succinct way and captured my journey through food perfectly. It encompassed everything I feel when I am able to share my recipes in person or over the internet. Thank you, ladies for the company + laughter we shared. It won’t be our last get together!

You can read the article at Gatherhaus Interview – Girl Meets Kitchen.

 Thanks for stopping by, and happy cooking from my kitchen to yours!

~Julia

Cranberry Cake

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Cranberries are one of those foods that signify the holiday season. They’re festive + bright both in flavor and taste and I love cooking with them this time of year. Seeing that it’s Christmas in a couple weeks, you’ll be hard pressed not to find them in a dish or cocktail no matter where you turn.

This cake is simple + packed with flavor; sure to delight any guest at your table. The cranberries provide a great burst of tartness to the sweet cake and they balance one another in just the right manner. Use it as your Christmas day centerpiece with some sprigs of rosemary & sugared cranberries surrounding the cake – edible centerpieces are my favorite kind. If you want a bigger punch of sweetness, drizzle the top with some lemon glaze.

Happy cooking & thanks for stopping by, friends!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar + 2 tbsp for coating the cranberries
  • 2 cups unbleached, AP flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • the zest of 1 medium sized lemon
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a loaf pan & set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the cranberries + 2 tbsp sugar, set aside.
  3. Using the paddle attachment in your Kitchen-Aid mixer, cream together the butter + 1 cup sugar for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, milk & vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  4. Turning the mixer to low speed, add in the baking powder & flour and mix until just combined.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in the sugared cranberries. Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan.
  6. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the loaf pan.

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Gingerbread Pancakes

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Pancakes are one of my girls’ absolute favorite meals and I’m always looking for new ways to add a little variety to them. While delicious all on their own, the basic pancake recipe is much like an empty canvas waiting for a touch of paint. Gingerbread for breakfast is my kind of art.

Christmas is just around the corner – which always leaves me thinking of growing up baking with family throughout the month of December. Some of those memories are most definitely the fondest – and my mom and grandma had a soft spot for gingerbread. My mom once told me it’s what she asked of my grandma to bring her in the hospital in the full heat of summer after delivering me: a full pan of gingerbread cake. Rightfully so, my grandma was the best baker around.

This is a fantastic way to wake up your loved ones on a cold winter morning! The flavors + aromas are delicious and sure to please any pancake aficionado in your home. Not overly sweet with all the right punches of spice and molasses…they’re bound to make Christmas morning sweeter as well.

Recipe yields 12 pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda + powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & allspice together.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, molasses & brown sugar until well combined.
  3. Combine the wet + dry ingredients until just incorporated. Do not over mix the batter or the pancakes will be tough. There will still be lumps in the batter.
  4. Heat a large pan or griddle to medium low heat.
  5. Ladle 1/3 cup of batter atop the hot surface, leaving 2 inches of space between each cake. Wait until bubbles appear across the top of the cake & the edges appear semi-cooked, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  6. Flip each cake over and resume the cooking 1-2 more minutes.
  7. Serve hot with a side of maple syrup – or for extra decadence with a side of cinnamon whipped cream (or both!)

 

Citrus Sweet + Spicy Almonds

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Whether entertaining a large group of people or looking for something to have on hand to satisfy a nibble – you’re going to want to make these highly addicting almonds. A little bit sweet, a little salty & a little spicy, they satisfy the craving; whatever the craving of the moment may be.

When invited to a dinner party or gathering with friends, I love bringing the hosts a small, homemade gift or a bottle of wine. These are perfect to bring along to any gathering because they’ll compliment the menu be it formal or appetizers. Great for munching over drinks or leaving for the host to enjoy at a later date. Planning a DIY themed Christmas this year? These are your golden ticket.

Feel free to spice it up a little more – these bring a subtle heat. I also made a batch of cashews with the same seasonings and it worked quite nicely as well. Just be sure to use raw, unsalted nuts – whichever variety you choose.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt (I used course)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp organic, pure maple syrup Grade A medium amber
  • the zest of 1 lime

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine the salt, red pepper flakes, orange juice, maple syrup + lime zest in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in the almonds and coat with the mixture.
  4. Lay the almonds in a single layer atop the lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake 15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow them to cool completely before serving.

Raspberry + Cranberry Galette

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As the weather turns colder and the holidays approach, the anticipation of the comforts that go along with this time of the year fill me with equal parts nostalgia + excitement. The food, the company & the coziness it all brings together are pure perfection.

While it’s been said that nothing is more American as pie, (specifically during Thanksgiving & Christmas) there’s something simplistic & beautifully rustic about a galette that I cannot ignore. It’s simple in appearance, but bold in flavor – whatever the flavor may be. I also love that they are quick to make, leaving less time in the kitchen & more time spent with family.

This summer we picked 10 pounds of raspberries and froze a good portion of them. Recipes such as this one was precisely what I had intended for the frozen berries. The combination of sweet + tart are perfect for any gathering, be it holiday or not. Happy baking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached, AP flour
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp very cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ice water (remove the ice before adding)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar


Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour + cinnamon. Add the diced cold butter & cut in with a pastry knife or fork.
  2. add the vanilla extract + 1/4 cup of ice water (sans ice), combining together with clean hands until it forms a ball. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together.
  3. Cover the ball in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400.
  4. On a clean surface dusted lightly with flour, roll out the chilled dough until it forms a round crust approximately 10″ in diameter.
  5. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the fruit, lemon zest + juice and sugar together. Stir & add to the center of the dough.
  7. Gently fold over the edges of the galette & crimp the corners.
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown & the fruit begins to bubble. Serve warm or store up to 2 days.

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Almond + Cookie Butter Biscotti

Almond + Cookie Butter Biscotti

Morning coffee is equal parts necessary + nostalgic for me, taking me back to my grandma’s kitchen growing up. Food and drink have a strong connection with memories and I like to make them sweet. Coffee can be wonderful on it’s own, but sometimes it calls for a companion. Biscotti being the natural partner.

I created this recipe 2 years ago during my pregnancy with my second daughter, and it remains a family favorite to this day. Baking these with her now on the outside, watching the crumbs fall off her cheeks and our older daughter covered in the melted chocolate made this recipe even sweeter.

These are incredibly simple + would make a fantastic gift for the upcoming holidays. I freeze mine to lengthen their lifespan + enjoying the extra crunch the freezing process provides. Dipped in a hot cup of coffee, surrounded by friends or family and making memories – these round out some of my most favorite parts of my morning (or afternoon) routine. Recipe yields approximately 24 biscotti, depending on the width of which you cut them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter
  • 1.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped natural almonds, unsalted
  • 1/4 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Almond + Cookie Butter Biscotti Almond + Cookie Butter Biscotti Almond + Cookie Butter Biscotti

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 300. Line two baking sheets with silpat liners or parchment paper.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in Kitchen Aid mixer about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides when finished.
  3. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time. Add almond extract and cookie butter and mix until blended.
  4. Add flours, salt and baking powder and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix. Stir in chopped almonds.
  5. Divide the dough in half and form two loaves, one on each baking sheet. Bake 40-45 minutes.
  6. Remove the loaves from the oven and slice into 3/4″ pieces with a sharp knife. Lay each biscotti on it’s side, leaving space between each piece.
  7. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until hardened.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler and drizzle atop each biscotti. Serve cooled or store in the freezer.

IMG_9060 Almond + Cookie Butter Biscotti

Sage & Butternut Squash Crostini

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I for one am beyond excited for its arrival. I love the simplicity of the holiday and what it stands for: to be thankful. It doesn’t revolve around gifts or some cutesy stuffed character who will deliver any sort of gift; rather it’s a rare holiday in which we reflect upon everything we have, be it tangible or emotional and practice gratitude. The older I become, the more I’ve found this holiday to be one of my absolute favorites.

It also is a fantastic opportunity to grub on some pretty spectacular food with the people we love.

Whether you are hosting or dining at someone’s house, this simple and flavorful appetizer is reminiscent of all things autumn, thanksgiving and delicious. No host or hostess would ever deny a guest the opportunity to contribute to the menu, why not wow them with something that will compliment the entree so wonderfully?

The puree can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator a few days early, then spread atop freshly toasted slices of baguette the day of your gathering. Top with shavings of parmesan cheese (grated would be lovely as well) and serve.

Final yield of the puree depends on the size of the butternut squash. I used an average size squash and it produced about 1 cup; plenty for spreading atop 1-1.5 sliced baguettes. Hosting a smaller gathering? Use larger bread & garnish as you would a slice of bruschetta.

Happy Thanksgiving from my kitchen to yours!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsp for roasting & 2 for the puree. I used California Olive Ranch.
  • 6 medium/large sage leaves
  • 3 oz. grated parmesan cheese + shaved pieces to garnish
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1-2 baguette loaves, toasted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Peel the squash & remove the stalk. Cut in half and remove the seeds. Dice into 1″ cubes and lay out the cubes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Drizzle the squash with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil & add the garlic salt + pepper. Toss together using clean hands and roast 45-55 minutes on the center rack of your oven. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Using your food processor, blend together the roasted squash, sage leaves, grated parmesan cheese + remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Taste & season more per your preference with garlic salt or pepper.
  4. Slice the baguette loaf (loaves) into 1.5″ circles. Lay them onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler until toasted.
  5. Spread the puree atop each piece of bread + garnish with the shaved parmesan.

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Pumpkin Spice Caramel Rolls

Whether you’ve followed me for a brief or long amount of time, you have read about my husband’s affinity for sweets. Rolls of the caramel or cinnamon realm specifically appeal to his love language, and quite frankly my love language for him beckons me to oblige his request for such simplicities – be it verbal or not. 

This week, Minnesota is showing off from a weather perspective. Indian Summer is here and folks all over the state are out enjoying the beauty of it all. They’re more than likely drinking some sort of pumpkin coffee drink, as well. It’s what we do in autumn, and we do it well. Truth be told, the PSL had a bit of inspiration for these beauties, in addition to my husband’s sweet tooth. I’d like to think these are a far more indulgent way to enjoy autumn and all things pumpkin, however. 

I had a good amount of leftover caramel sauce from my Caramel Apple Bread (find it a few posts back here) that I adapted from The Pioneer Woman and decided it to be a great fit for topping the rolls. You could also go a traditional cream cheese frosting route if you so choose.

I may even throw caution to the wind and bake these for Thanksgiving in lieu of a pumpkin pie. My instincts, paired with careful research with a one and four year old taste tester suggest it would be a wise decision. Happy autumn, from my kitchen to yours!

Ingredients:

(For the Dough)

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water (not hot water, as it will kill the yeast)
  • 1/4 cup raw, organic honey
  • 1 packet quick rise yeast
  • 1/3 cup pure organic pumpkin
  • 3 cups AP unbleached flour, plus more for rolling the dough (I used King Arthur)
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 

(For the Filling)

  • 1/2 cup pure organic pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

(Sprinkle atop the rolls prior to rising)

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

(For the Caramel Sauce)

  • 1 packed cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. organic butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In your Kitchen-Aid mixer fitted with the hook attachment, add the warm water, yeast and honey. Let sit 5-10 minutes until the yeast activates/foam appears.
  2. Add the pumpkin and flours and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be tacky to the touch, yet doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl when mixing.
  3. Lightly brush the bottom of the bowl with olive oil, place the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel to allow the dough to double in size for one hour.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the filling. Set aside. 
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  7. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangular shape, approximately 10×14.
  8. Thinly spread the filling from edge to edge and tightly roll the dough from one edge to the other, horizontally.
  9. Grease a 9×13 glass pan and cut the rolled dough into 1.5-2″ sections. Place them 4×3 in the pan and cover for 15-20 minutes to let rise again. 
  10. Sprinkle with the sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  11. Generously pour the caramel sauce over each roll and serve warm or allow to cool and store for up to 2 days.

Caramel Apple Bread

I remember making caramel apples as a child with my mom in the kitchen. Unwrapping what seemed like an endless pile of caramels, dipping large green apples into a gooey bowl of it melted down, and finally adding whatever toppings to them that suited the mood at the time. Caramel apples are a treat synonymous with autumn and found in every orchard or grocery store around this time of year. 

While the real deal will always remind me of childhood – there’s something to be said about putting all of those flavors into a loaf pan and enjoying the fragrance of it baking away in the oven. The house smelled like an apple orchard for hours – a complete added bonus. 

I wanted to make a bread that looked as pretty as the inspiration, so I thinly sliced the apples and placed them upright in the batter prior to baking. When the cooled bread is sliced, the upright apple slices look so cozy nestled into a piece of the bread and the caramel sauce completes the package. This truly does taste like a caramel apple, and is an acceptable form of eating one for breakfast. Or any other meal of the day.

The sauce is an adapted recipe from The Pioneer Woman’s caramel sauce, found here.

Rather than using half & half, I substituted whole milk. The sauce is incredibly simple and exactly the right sauce for this bread. 

As an added bonus, this bread is refined sugar free if you omit the caramel sauce.

Happy baking, and thanks for stopping by!

Ingredients:

(For the Bread)

  • 1/2 cup room temp organic butter (I used Hope Creamery)
  • 1 cup organic, Grade A light amber maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 8 oz all natural, no sugar added applesauce
  • 2 cups unbleached, AP flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 honeycrisp or granny smith apples, cut width wise in 1/4″ sections

(For the Caramel Sauce)

  • 1 packed cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. organic butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325.
  2. Wash the apples and cut 1/4″ slices width wise on either side of the core. This will yield two quarters of each apple unused. Go ahead and enjoy those pieces while the cake bakes! (See above photo)
  3. In a large bowl or Kitchen-Aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all wet ingredients. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Add the batter into a greased loaf pan. Gently nestle in each apple slice across the batter. Depending on the size of the apples, the tops may sit above the batter. Bake 50-60 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
  5. While the bread is baking, in a medium sized pan atop your stovetop, add the brown sugar, butter, milk and salt to the pan and gently whisk over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the vanilla and whisk another minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Place the sauce into a glass container and allow to cool further in the fridge. 
  6. Allow the bread to cool completely before removing from the loaf pan! Drizzle with the caramel sauce and serve the remaining sauce on the side for yourself (ahem, I mean your guests.)

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