What better way to get in the mood for Christmas than baking Icelandic Christmas goodies? Icelanders love making food, and their Christmas recipes are top-notch. We’ve written out the recipes for some sweets in this article so you can make your own.
Firstly, we give two recipes for Christmas cookies, jólasmákökur in Icelandic: jólasúkkulaðibitakökur (Christmas chocolate chip cookies) and mömmukökur (mom’s cookies). Originally following Danish recipes, these days Icelanders experiment more with recipes from different countries. Traditional Christmas cookies consist mostly of butter, flour, and sugar, ingredients that were available throughout the years.
Baking six different cookies is common, but overzealous homemakers bake as many as 12 kinds. Sörur (Sarah Bernhardt cookies), spesiur (shortbread), Gyðingakökur (Jewish cookies), loftkökur (air cookies, a kind of biscuit), and piparkökur (gingerbread cookies) are just a few of the options.
Secondly, we tell you how to make laufabrauð (leaf bread), a traditional Icelandic crunchy Christmas bread. It’s a deep-fried, round, very thin cake with a diameter of about 20cm, and it’s usually beautifully decorated with leaf or snowflake patterns.
The dough is made with just a few ingredients, which makes laufabrauð special because it’s very thin. People used to try to make the dough as thin as possible to create more pieces of bread.
50g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
100g chocolate chips
- In a bowl, mix butter and sugar together.
- Add dark brown sugar and one egg to the mixture and mix until combined.
- Add flour, baking soda and table salt and mix until smooth.
- Stir the chocolate chips in the dough.
- Form small dough balls and align these on a tray with enough space between them to flatten out.
- Bake for 7 minutes in a preheated oven at 175°C.
8 cups of flour
2 cups of syrup
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp cinnamon powder
125gr powdered sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Heat butter, syrup and sugar in a pot.
- Let the mixture cool and then add two eggs.
- Sift flour, baking soda, ginger powder and cinnamon powder into the dough and knead well.
- Store the dough overnight in a refrigerator.
- Flatten the dough and make cookies with a circle cookie mould.
- Bake the cookies for eight minutes.
- Make the filling by mixing butter, powdered sugar, one egg and vanilla extract until soft and creamy.
- Make little cookie sandwiches by putting a layer of filling in between two cookies.
250g wheat flour
2 tsp salt
Optional: 2 tsp caraway seeds
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Heat milk, but don’t boil it.
- Add butter, salt, and optional caraway seeds.
- Knead dough until smooth and keep it under a sheet.
- Roll out thin cakes while the dough is still warm.
- Cut the cakes into round shapes and decorate each piece with leaves, snowflakes, or whatever you like!