I am sure most of my readers who are familiar with Norwegian cakes have heard of the “kransekake”—an impressive tower of “circles” of cake made out of ground almonds, confectioners sugar, and egg whites and decorated with Norwegian flags and bonbons. You can read more about it and get the recipe in my previous blog post here. Here’s a photo of one my mother made for my niece’s confirmation earlier this year:
Norwegians have taken the contents of this cake and turned them into “stick” like cookies, hence the name ‘kransekakestenger’. Much easier to prepare, and you still get the same taste and experience! A popular way to present them is to dip each end in chocolate, bringing extra delight at the beginning and end of eating this insanely good cookie.
Photo Source: Spar.no
These divine cookies are also gluten-free if you don’t add in the optional tbsp of flour—I like to add it because I feel it adds a little texture to the cookies but the traditional recipe has no flour in it.
I’ve also added a plant-based alternative to the egg whites, making these vegan if you would like to!
250 grams or 9 oz (1 cup) scolded almonds (see below how to do this)
250 grams or 9 oz (1 cup) whole almonds (unsalted)
250 grams or 9 oz (1 cup) confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup aquafaba or 3 -4 tbsp ground flax seed whisked with 9-12 tbsp of water (this becomes gooey and gelatinous like egg whites)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour (optional)
For chocolate dip:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
To scold almonds (this can be done days in advance): Bring some water in a pot to a boil, turn off the heat and place the almonds in the water. Let them sit 2-3 minutes in the water, then rinse them in cold water. Squeeze the almonds and remove the shells. Let the almonds dry a couple of hours before using.
Grind up the scalded and un-scolded whole almonds in a food processor or an old fashioned grinder until fine. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and all-purpose flour and add in egg whites or flaxseed mixture until you have a firm, sticky dough (you may not need to add all the egg whites /flax seed mix, adding too much liquid can ruin the consistency of the cookies). Roll into a firm ball and wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°F or 2oo°C. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough to about 4-5 inch pieces and place on baking sheets. Cook for about 10 minutes until slightly golden on top. While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate on the stove in a double boiler. Dip the cookies in the chocolate on both ends, and place on a rack to seize up.
You can also decorate the cookies as shown below—pretty, right?
Photo Credit: Jan Inge Haga