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Memories of Christmas Cookies

Ceramabake Cookie Sheet

My wife and I got married just a little over 42 years ago. I’m from South Carolina, but I married a Jersey girl, so I thought it was going to be the New Jersey culture to which I would have to adjust. Turns out I was wrong - I had married into a family with a Norwegian mom.


I won’t go into all the adjustments that were part of having a Norwegian mother - suffice it to say that I never have developed a taste for lutefisk. But there is one time of year when having married into a Norwegian family is amazing - Christmas!


I remember the first Christmas that I visited Karen’s family (a year or so before we were married). I have never seen so many tins of different Christmas cookies and treats. There were lemon bars and raspberry squares, almond cookies dusted with confectioners sugar, very thin lace cookies … all in tins on the counter and available 24/7.


There were also a couple of Norwegian specialty cookies that I came to love. One was a fluted almond cookie made in individual tins. My wife called them Norwegian tea cakes, but I believe the original name is sandkaker. It could be eaten plain or with some sort of filling.


The second was a cone shaped delicacy called krumkaker. The dough was cooked on a special flat iron, then while still warm, wrapped around a cone shaped mold to form something that looked like an ice cream cone. As with the sandkaker, they could be eaten plain or stuffed with a filling. I think I remember they were traditionally filled with whipped cream.


For a number of years after we were married my wife carried on the tradition of her mom with baking types of Christmas cookies every year. Since the kids have been gone, we will often limit that to one or two types. But my memories of that first Christmas with her family are still fresh. Maybe I’ll have to see if we still have the krumkaker cones molds this year!!


What is your favorite Christmas cookie? Let me know at robby@kneadedkitchens.com.

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