Havrekjeks

Apr 10, 2024

Havrekjeks has a long history in Norway, dating all the way back to the 15th century.

The story goes when the famous Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen packed up his provisions for his expedition to the South Pole, havrekjeks were at the top of his list.

Many Norwegians remember eating havrekjeks when visiting their grandmother’s house. Recently, when looking through my grandmother’s cookbook, I found a recipe for these, which inspired me to bake them in my own kitchen here in New York.

There’s nothing quite like biting into these cookies to get a true flavor of Norway. Perhaps it is the oats, such a common ingredient back home and one we add in so many different pastries and breads.

While you can purchase a variety of different brands of havrekjeks in Norway, there’s nothing like baking your own. You have full control over what goes into the cookies, plus they taste so much better! It’s well worth it since these are super simple and quick to make.

These oat cookies are hearty due to the major ingredient being oats, but they also have a nice sweetness to them, making them a perfect vessel for salty cheese. The combination of sweet and salty is very satisfying.

Havrekjeks are often baked at Christmas, but I find them suitable any time of year.

Traditionally, hornsalt (harthsorn) is added, which is another word for baker’s ammonia, and adds a classic flavor to the cookies. You can purchase it online here. Alternatively, you can substitute additional baking soda.

Here’s a brand I purchased when home in Norway recently:

Typically, these cookies are served with brunost or gjetost, the classic goat milk brown cheese widely popular in Norway. The cheese’s tanginess and saltiness greatly contrast the cookie’s sweetness. Since I don’t eat dairy anymore, I find that a great tangy vegan cheddar cheese works just as well.

This recipe is quite decadent, as there’s a fair amount of butter and sugar in the dough. I like the richness of them, as you can serve them on any occasion, fancy or casual. Add them to a cheese board, or just slather them with some butter and serve with coffee or tea when you have guests over.

You can vary the ingredients if you’d like, such as adding in chocolate chips, dried fruit or nuts… the options are endless!

These also make perfect turmat, a Norwegian term for snacks to bring when hiking. The cookies keep for a long time when stored in an airtight container in a cool and dark place.

Try these out and always have a delicious, Norwegian snack on hand!

Havrekjeks

Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients

¾ cup (175 ml) Just Eggs*
1 heaping cup (225 grams) sugar
2 sticks (225 grams) vegan butter, melted and cooled
2 ½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
5 cups (450 grams) quick oats
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons hartshorn (or sub baking soda)

Directions

Whisk together the Just Eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Add in the melted butter and combine, then fold in the dry ingredients until you have a relatievly firm dough. Let the batter rest for about 2 hours in the fridge.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°C (175°F). Line three cookie or baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Divide the dough in three pieces, then drizzle a little flour on a clean work surface, and coat your rolling pin lightly with flour as well, and roll out the dough until about ¼ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on the prepared cookie sheets. You’ll fit about 12 on each sheet.

Bake one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a rack before diving in!

*Note: if you don’t have Just Eggs handy, you can sub applesauce or aquafaba (chickpea liquid).

Hartshorn, also called Baker’s Ammonia, is a classic ingredient in many baked Norwegian goods and an old-time leavening favored for cookies before baking powder was available.

Havrekjeks

These sweet and savory oat biscuits are a classic on Norwegian coffee tables and so easy to make.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Norwegian
Keyword: Oat cookies
Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (175 ml )Just Eggs*
  • 1 heaping cup (225 grams) sugar
  • 2 sticks 225 grams vegan butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 ½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups (450 grams) quick oats
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons hartshorn or sub baking soda

Instructions

  • Whisk together the Just Eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the melted butter and combine, then fold in the dry ingredients until you have a relatievly firm dough. Let the batter rest for about 2 hours in the fridge.
  • When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°C (175°F). Line three cookie or baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Divide the dough in three pieces, then drizzle a little flour on a clean work surface, and coat your rolling pin lightly with flour as well, and roll out the dough until about ¼ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on the prepared cookie sheets. You’ll fit about 12 on each sheet.
  • Bake one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a rack before diving in!

Notes

f you don’t have Just Eggs handy, you can sub applesauce or aquafaba (chickpea liquid).
Hartshorn, also called Baker’s Ammonia, is a classic ingredient in many baked Norwegian goods and an old-time leavening favored for cookies before baking powder was available.

2 Comments

  1. Gina

    Really love this recipe and look forward to making this weekend. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Wonderful to hear! Happy baking! 🙂

      Reply

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