Monday, November 23, 2009

Serinakaker – Norwegian Butter Cookies

Serina and cousin Kristine Maria
Serinakaker, while a classic type of Norwegian Christmas cookie, are so easy to make that it's a pity not to enjoy them more than once a year. While the cookies will have a finer texture if you're able to use hartshorn, baking powder can be substituted for equally delectable results.

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. hornsalt (a.k.a. hartshorn or baker's ammonia) or 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup cold butter, diced into small cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla sugar (or substitute 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup pearl sugar


Whisk together flour and hornsalt (or baking powder). Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs. Mix in beaten egg to form a soft dough; stir in sugar and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Pinch off dough into balls the size of a walnut; place on ungreased or silpat-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on the top of each ball, flattening them slightly. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with chopped almonds and pearl sugar.

Bake on center rack of oven for 10-12 minutes (Note: If using hornsalt, you will notice an ammonia smell as the cookies bake. No worries – this quickly dissipates, leaving the cookies with a delicate texture without affecting their flavor).

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen Serinakaker butter cookies.

This is a recipe I found on the internet with American measures. (The picture is net-based as well). As you can understand Serina cookies are a must in our family. I have a great-grandmother, a grandmother, my mother (Inga Serina)and my daughter all by that name.

The cookies are super easy to make. I always enjoyed having Serina & friends in with me. I use baking powder instead of hornsalt. Also real dairy butter, no margarine. My friend Elisabeth always instructed me; "You are so seldom making your own cookies, at least use the best ingredients when you do."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brownie Drop Cookies

The hint of cinnamon in these cookies reminds me of drinking Mexican hot cocoa.

Follow directions carefully ... there's two bars of Baker's German chocolate per batch ...


2 (4 oz) bars of Baker's German Chocolate
1 Tablespoon butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 C unsifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat Oven To: 350F Makes 3 dozen

Carefully melt butter and chocolate together in microwave oven (or over a double boiler) .
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy with a hand mixer .. gradually beat in the sugar two tablespoons at a time. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Mix in the 1/4 cup of flour and the baking powder with the chocolate. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Drop by teaspoonful on a well greased cookie pan (I prefer to bake these cookies on a parchment lined cookie pan. Bake 8-10 minutes.

These cookies bake up a little puffy/crinkly on top with a little chewy chocolate heaven inside.

Chai Shortbread

(the taste of these cookies is reminiscent of chai tea)

Chai Shortbread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup powdered sugar (yes, powdered sugar, not regular granulated sugar)
10 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon ice water

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined (mixture will appear crumbly). Sprinkle dough with 1 tablespoon ice water; toss with a fork. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into 2 (6-inch-long) logs; wrap each log in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour or until very firm.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Unwrap dough logs. Carefully cut each log into 18 slices using a serrated knife. Place dough circles 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. You can dust these with powdered sugar if you like but they are good as is.

Yield: 3 dozen

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Apple Pie Bars

I can say no to a lot of cookies, but these are my ABSOLUTE favorite, I only make them at Christmas... because I eat them!!

Apple Pie Bars

4 cups (1 1/2 pounds) thinly sliced, peeled tart cooking apples (I use Macintosh)
1 6 oz can apple juice
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 T cornstarch
1/2 c sugar

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
2 slightly beaten eggs

Preheat oven 375

For filling:
In a large saucepan combine apples, apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Combine cornstarch and the ½ cup of sugar. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool slightly.

For Crust:
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add margarine and eggs. Mix on low speed until the mixture is blended and crumbly. Press 2/3 (3 1/2 cups) into greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan.

Spread apple mixture evenly over crust. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over apples.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into bars. Makes 48

Group News

Dear Scarf Sisters,

The idea came to me today to ask each of you to post a special Christmas cookie recipe. If we all share just one of our favorites (or family secret recipes), then we can partake in each others Christmas treats.

Start flipping through your recipe boxes and get ready to bake!


Mrs. Mac

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mushroom Barley "stuffing"

I adapted this recipe from Weight Watchers. You can check out the original recipe there. I loved it!! And it's SO good for you! Did you know that barley has 15g fiber per cup!!! It's my new favorite grain!!

1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked barley, pearl variety
2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion(s), chopped
2 small carrot(s), diced
1 pound(s) mushroom(s), fresh, (I used portabella that I got on clearance at the grocery for half off!!)
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground sage,
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup(s) canned veggie broth
2 Tbsp parsley, fresh, chopped
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan; add barley.
Cover saucepan, reduce heat and simmer barley until tender, about 30 minutes; drain.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick stockpot over medium-high heat; add onion and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until onion is lightly browned and almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring often, until all vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes more.
Stir in sage & pepper. Reduce heat to low; stir in broth to achieve desired consistency. Add cooked barley; toss to coat. Remove from heat; transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

I made it, ate it for a couple days and then tonight I stuffed my green peppers with it and we're having it for dinner (in the crockpot) tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aunt Janice's Reuben Dip

1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained and pressed dry
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound corned beef
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 1-quart baking dish.
In a blender or food processor, place sauerkraut, onion and corned beef. Process until smooth.
Place sauerkraut mixture in the baking dish, and mix with mayonnaise, sour cream, prepared horseradish and Swiss cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hearty Corn Sausage Soup

I got this recipe a long time ago from a girlfriend who was originally from Vermont so this recipe has traveled far and wide. I make it very rarely but every once in a while I get a taste for it in the fall or winter. I thought I'd share it with you since today was one of those days.

1 lb of link sausage ( really half of that is plenty)
a few medium sized potatoes- skin on and cubed
1 cup - green peppers- chopped
1 cup - water
1 16 oz can of creamed corn
2 Cups - milk
2 Tbls flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbls parsley
1 small onion-chopped

Cook sausage and cut into pieces
Drain all but 1 Tbls fat
Add fat to potatoes, pepper and water
Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Stir in corn, milk, and onions,
Add flour, salt , pepper and parsley.
Finally add sausage pieces, simmer uncovered until thickened, stir often as it will stick.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Homemade 'Maple' Syrup

Store bought syrup has changed for the worse since I was a kid. Today's version is anything but appetizing in my honest opinion. My preference is organic maple syrup (as in real maple syrup) but often times my budget won't allow for the real deal. Typical ready made brands are gloppy and contain a mile long list of ingredients. If you'd like to taste and make a syrup close to real maple syrup, why not try the recipe I use.

Homemade 'Maple' Syrup


2 cups sugar (I prefer organic evaporated cane sugar)
1 cup filtered water
1/2 teaspoon Mapleine maple flavoring


Bring water to a boil and add the sugar. Cook for a minute or two to melt the sugar (this will help thicken the syrup a bit). Add the maple flavoring and stir well. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for about a month. You can store it longer, but the sugar may begin to crystallize but heating well will remelt it ..

Pictures: 'maple' syrup after cooking, Mapleine flavoring and finished syrup (I made 1/2 recipe) in a recycled maple syrup bottle

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Helpful Hint

While making Egg Salad the other day...I thought, as I used my handy dandy Dough Blender, that I ought to post a picture of it. I have used this gadget nigh on 40 years! One day while smashing eggs with a fork I decided to give it a whirl...Boy, was I glad that I did!!! It makes, making Egg Salad Sandwiches a quick and yummy lunch!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ultimate Pumpkin Waffles Recipe

This morning Hal was talking about someone he knew making pumpkin waffles. Not to be out done, I said "I can make you pumpkin waffles"...never having made them before!
So, I googled for some recipes and this is the one I made. I have to say, it was outstanding, and as a plus, the entire house smells so good!
The recipes looks long and slightly intimidating - but it's really quite simple. I will send you to the web page I got it from because it also has a link that converts the measurements into metric. Here you go: