Sunday, January 09, 2011

Pepparkakor - *awesomely* spiced cookies

My sister found this recipe and baked up a batch before Christmas. I got my first taste in their car, as she and Ugur and Scott and I drove north to Duluth. They are really, really fantastic.

A note of caution - Google Translator does a pretty good job, but it converts deciliters to cups, when the actually conversion is more like 1 dl = 0.4 cups. The volumes below should be correct.


1 cup sugar
7 oz butter
2/3 cup light syrup (I substituted maple syrup)

Zests from two lemons (I used 1 lemon and 1 orange)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon orange peel (ground)
1 tablespoon cardamom

3 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking soda

Approximately 1/2 cup almonds (optional but recommended)


Melt the butter in a saucepan with the syrup and sugar.
Remove from heat and let it cool a bit, and stir in all the spices.

Combine the flour and baking soda, and stir into the batter. Stir in almonds.

Shape the dough into two logs and wrap each one in plastic wrap. (If the dough is too warm to shape, just put it in the fridge for a little while, and then try making logs.)

Put the logs in the fridge if you plan to use them within a week - otherwise they can go in the freezer.

Slice the log (half inch slices or less) and bake on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Heartiest chili EVER

We purchased an eigth of a grassfed cow in November, and we requested some hearts in our order. We got three! The first one, we just sliced and fried. Not bad, but a little tough, so we decided to slow cook the next one. Chili fit the bill. We made this about a week ago and have been really enjoying leftovers since then.

Saute an onion (diced) with some bacon (about 4 thick-cut pieces, also diced) in a big pot.
Once everything is soft and greasy, throw in cubed meat. We only used about half of the heart - it was 4.5 lbs total!

Chop up some peppers (we used one jalapeno and one serrano) and toast them with spices in a dry (nonstick) skillet. (Cumin, mustard, thyme, sage, rosemary, salt, pepper, and maybe some other stuff that Scott can't remember). When the peppers start to blister, add them to the pot.

Add liquid. We used a big can of diced tomatoes, a little can of tomato paste and a cup or two of water.

Add squash. We peeled and diced half of a blue hokkaido pumpkin that we had lying around.

Add other stuff... a few tablespoons of cornmeal (for thickening), some diced chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, some vegan broth powder (mostly yeast extract) to help add depth, some chopped avocados. I think that's it.

Let it simmer for the afternoon. We were happy with how it thickened up - the squash pretty much dissolved. Like most chilis, it tasted better the next day!