Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Catering for those Christmas Celebrations

As part of a European Cultural Fair that Hayden had at school a few months back, he had to find a recipe from Denmark, and then prepare the food (or have his Mum prepare it for him!) He needed enough to share with approximately 120 friends and classmates.  The fact that this recipe said it made about 12 dozen cookies was a big part of its appeal - and as a bonus they sounded pretty good too.

So, with the help of the big stock pot (because our mixing bowls were just too small) we mixed up a batch of Danish Butter Cookie Dough.  Around this time, we decided that in fact the smallest star cutter would be perfect - giving us 'sample sized' cookies.  That of course meant we got a lot more than 12 dozen cookies. This was what 231 cookies looked like all piled up:
And we still had loads of dough left!  Thankfully, the dough freezes well, and we were pleased to have a ready supply of homemade cookie dough just waiting to be cooked whenever we needed it.

Now with December here - not just Christmas, but the beginning of birthday season in our house as well, there seems to be one 'catering opportunity' after another.  I got to thinking that Danish Butter cookies were just exactly what we needed, and would be a great family tradition in the making.  Cookies in the cupboard, and dough in the freezer - ready to go when we needed it, and making life that little bit easier, at this very busy time of year.

It works well for brightly coloured lizards as well!
So here is the recipe for the super yummy, incredibly handy Danish Butter Cookie (Smørdejgskager) recipe, just in case you find yourself with lots of 'catering opportunities' too!   

2 cups soft butter     4 cups sugar     6 egg yolks - beaten
1 cup sour cream     2 tsp almond extract     2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda     2 tsp cream of tartar     9 cups flour
6 egg whites - beaten stiff

- Cream butter and sugar then add the egg yolks and beat again.  Stir in the sour cream and almond flavouring.
- Sift nutmeg, soda and cream of tartar with the flour.  Combine with creamed mixture to make a stiff dough.  Fold in egg whites.
- Roll the dough about 1/8 inch thick and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Place on greased cookie sheets.
- Bake 10 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.  Will yield about (at least!) 12 dozen cookies.

 This time round we made half the quantity of dough, and still have more than enough cookies and dough to go around When we use the little star cutter we only need to bake the cookies for around 5 minutes, rather than the ten minutes of the recipe.  We found the original recipe here:    (under cookies and small cakes).

And just when you were thinking this was all about the baking and not so much the scissors and sticky tape, here is a quick scrapbook page I made about the delicious Danish Butter Cookies. 
I am still deciding if I want to put this in a Christmas album, a family traditions (old and new) album, or a recipe album, so I kept it kind of simple, and decided to go for an 8.5x11" layout (12x12 just seems a little cumbersome for a recipe book!)  Hidden behind the photo is some journaling explaining why it is we happened to have 231 cookies (plus enough dough over for another 231!) and how this Christmas catering 'tradition' is coming about.  The main part of the layout is simply the recipe, with some clear embossed stars (from the classic stars jumbo wheel) on the background card, just to fancy it up a little bit.  This was a quick layout to put together using the computer for the journaling and title, and I have to say, the recipe album idea is growing on me.

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