Tag Archives: Swedish

Glögg (Swedish Traditional Mulled Wine)

With or without snow there’s not much that’s as heart warming as glögg (Swedish traditional mulled wine). In wintertime, around Christmas, the rich smell is so welcoming its no wonder its such a successful way to treat your guests. Last winter I had to warn my guests that even though the wine was served hot it was not low on alcohol. They didn’t believe me, so I was happy they could all walk home safely after our joyful evening together.

Like other Swedes I’m used to buying glögg already spiced at the Systembolaget, which is the one and only company that can sell liquor in Sweden. Systembolaget has an impressive selection of wine from all around the world and they have over 40 different kinds of glögg, both with and without alcohol. There is even a white glögg which is commonly served cold as an apertif at parties around Christmas. With a selection that great it’s hard to even think of making your own, unless you are a Swede like me living abroad. So I started, and today I can’t ever imagine going back. At Christmas I want my own glögg. And the glögg has to be done with some drama by caramelizing the sugar.

glögg recipe

one bottle of red wine (a decent full bodied wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah)

spices
3 cinnamon sticks
one teaspoon whole cloves
one teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 peels of an orange
5 whole cardamom pods
one small piece of ginger, chopped
20 raisins
a couple of dried figs

for caramelizing
one cup (240 ml) rum
1/3 cups (75 ml) brown sugar

to serve with
blanched almonds
raisins

Heat up the wine but be careful, the wine should not boil. Drop all the spices into the warm wine, turn the heat off and let rest covered for at least 4 hours (best overnight).

Sieve the spices from the wine and heat it up in a saucepan. Again make sure it doesn’t boil. In the meantime prepare a stainless strainer filled with the sugar. When the wine starts to get hot, place the strainer over the saucepan. Pour the rum over the sugar and light the alcohol steam below. Let some of the sugar drip into the wine mixture before adding all to the wine (if you wait for all the sugar to melt the alcohol will disappear with the flames). Take the saucepan from the heat and cover with a lid to stop the flames. If you think the glögg is too sweet you may add some more wine or rum.

Serve the glögg in small cups together with some blanched almonds and raisins in every glass. Glögg is also great with gingerbread cookies.

Story and recipe was originally posted at EcoSalon on 21st December 2011.

Gingerbread Cookies (Pepparkakor)

My memories of making gingerbread cookies (pepparkakor) are limited to my childhood when my sister and I rolled out dough and cutout shapes like the classic gingerbread men, women and pigs. It was fun for awhile, but our efforts only used up half the dough before my mother took over and cut out about 100 more. There were always too many gingerbread cookies in the house, no one seemed to eat them so they often lasted until Easter. At which point my mother had enough and fed them to the birds.

My mother’s cooking has always been a great inspiration but I’m afraid to say that gingerbread cookies isn’t one of them. So I decided to asked Anna Brones to join me in a gingerbread post. While creating the article together, I realized what my mother’s dough was missing. Anna (and her mother) always doubled the spices!
Read Anna’s gingerbread story at EcoSalon.

 

Anna’s Pepparkakor (Gingerbread Cookies)
(about 75-100 cookies)

¼ cup (50 ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup (150 ml) light syrup* or molasses
Almost one cup (200 ml) sugar
3 ½ oz (100 gram) butter
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups (700 ml) flour (+ some for the rolling out)

Melt the butter and the syrup on low heat. Let cool before adding the other ingredients. Work the dough well. It’s important that the spices are freshly milled. Let the dough rest overnight in a cool place so the spices have time to fully develop their aromas. The resting will also make it easier to roll out the dough.

Roll out the dough and cut out shapes with gingerbread cutters. Bake in the oven at 375ºF (190ºC) for about 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they burn easily.

This dough can also be used for a gingerbread house. Just roll it out slightly thicker. Have fun!

This recipe is a modification of the original at the Swedish shop Svensk Hemslöjd in Stockholm.

*You can buy light Syrup (ljus sirap) at Ikea. You can also use ”Lyle’s Golden Syrup” that you can find in British food stores.

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Anna’s Franska Pepparkakor (French Gingerbread Cookies)

1 cup (almost 250 ml) almonds, chopped
7 oz (200 g) butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) molasses
4 tsp ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp cardamom
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups (700 ml) flour
Cream butter, sugar and molasses.

Mix dry ingredients with almonds, then combine with butter, sugar and molasses. Knead together with your hands.

Roll dough into cylinders, about 12 inches long and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Bake at 380 for 10-12 minutes.

This recipe is adapted from the Swedish classic: “Sju sorters kakor.”

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Other Swedish baked classics

Semlor – cardamom rich bun is filled with almond paste and heavy whipped cream
Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Bun
Lussebullar – Saffron Buns
Mazariner – Guest post by Anna Brones