Happy 4th of Advent and Merry Winter Solstice!
The holidays are in full swing and we have arrived at the last of the four
Advents and the finale of this blog challenge. I have had great fun
celebrating interactively with you guys, and I hope you have too!
Four candles are lit on our dinner table, and I took a little
walk around the property, picking some fir and moss for decoration.
The tiny glasses with three different kinds of moss are going in
a Jul basket with lots of other goodies for my parents on Julafton.
Since many years back I am most often chiefly responsible for the
"candy table" on Julafton. This suits me perfectly since I am a candy,
baked goods and dessert kind of girl, but also because living and working
the way that I do, I can only really bring stuff made a few days in advance.
So for my final post I am sharing some of my homemade treats!
Chewy chocolate caramel with almonds
I have been calling it 'fudge' since I met Cinnamon man,
but only a few days ago (when I made real fudge for the first time)
did I realize that the Swedish kola is more of a caramel. It is boiled
for quite a while and it can be made very chewy or almost rock hard.
This year I went for chewy and for my little nieces sake I made
1/3 of the batch without almonds (below left). The adults prefer with.
After it set I cut it into little squares and wrapped them in waxed paper.
Saffron sponge cake with butter vanilla filling
This is the best sponge cake ever! And it's super simple to make!
Just make a normal fluffy sponge cake, it doesn't matter if it's a little dry.
After beating the egg and sugar together, beat in 0,5 grams of saffron
for a normal size round cake (I made mine half the size this time).
Melt a stick of butter (125 g) with a big glass of milk in a pan. Let boil
for a couple of minutes, then whisk in a tablespoon of vanilla powder.
Let both cake and sauce cool, slice the cake into two layers and flip
the top layer over. Drip the sauce over the insides of both layers, then put
the cake back together. Sift confectioners sugar over before serving.
This cake gets is even better after a night in the fridge. The sauce
and cake really marry and become a delectably moist and rich dessert :)
Walnut raisin whole grain bread
After following bread recipes to a 'T' for a few years and being
disappointed almost every time, I now just throw in whatever I want
and use my eyes and fingers to measure things like flour and time.
I like my bread with goodies inside and several different types of flour.
My best bread baking tips are: Add a big handful of oats for fluffiness,
and double the rising time for both the dough and the shaped loaves.
Peanut butter fudge
This year was the first time I've ever made "Anglo-Saxon style" fudge
(or made anything at all with peanut butter for that matter). We don't really do
peanut butter in Sweden, but I wanted to try something new. Cinnamon man
reminded me of the peanut butter jar he keeps in the pantry and I gave it a go.
I used a regular fudge recipe I found on-line, with only 4 ingredients;
Butter, peanut butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Super easy!
This type of fudge is ridiculously yummy, rich and sweet :)
I realized quickly that I could eat myself sick on it, but Cinnamon man
has been eating it every night and he seems fine. Is it an American thing? :)
Chocolate oatmeal coconut balls
These are a Swedish classic, but not everyone makes them for Jul.
It is a no-bake treat and it is the first cake/candy I ever learned to make.
They are absolutely delicious and I eat them all through the holidays :)
The balls mainly consists of oatmeal, sugar, butter and pure cocoa,
but I also throw in vanilla, a little coconut and a dash of espresso.
Mix it all together, let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours,
then roll into little balls and roll in coconut. Let set in fridge
for another couple of hours. Take out 30 minutes before eating.
The winner of last week's giveaway is Insomniac's Attic!
Congratulations, and please email me your address!
My last GIVEAWAY for the season is a secret feel good package,
made up of pretty things, lovely scents and other bits and bobs!
All you have to do to join is be or become a follower, and leave a comment
on this post. The giveaway is international and open until New Year's Eve.
Thank you all so much for sharing your holidays with me!
My December has been full of ups and downs, and while I have loved
reading about your celebrations and traditions, I feel like I haven't really
gotten to share all that I wanted with you guys. But I hope you all have
a wonderful time the coming weeks - whichever way you celebrate!