Julebakst (Christmas baking) begins early in Norway, and has long traditions. Back in time, there was an old saying that any respectable household makes at least syv slag: an assortment of seven types of cookies, or more!
The type of cookies depends on your region and each family has their own favourites. The Norwegian newspaper VG determined the top seven on their list being: kromkaker, berlinerkranser, fattigmann, hjortetakk, sandbakkels/sandkaker, sirupsnipper, and goro.
“When we were little, no one had fewer than seven varieties, and the most enthusiastic had at least 13. Mum didn’t make 20 or 40 of each, but often several hundred, of the biggest favourites. There were many mouths to be fed.” – Ingunn
Here is the recipe for our favourite “Brune Pinner” by @sultnegutter
MAMMAS BRUNE PINNER | MUM’S BROWN STICKS
200 g unsalted butter, softened
100 g fine white sugar
100 g brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey
300 g wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
85 g brown sugar
50 g almonds, finely chopped
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 175˚ C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Fold in the egg yolk and syrup, followed by the flour, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and baking soda.
Knead together until a smooth and fairly firm dough.
Divide the dough into six parts. Roll each into thin sausages and evenly place on the baking trays.
Using your fingers, gently press each sausage to flatten until ½ cm thick.
Brush with egg white before sprinkling with the brown sugar and chopped almonds.
Bake the bars for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Cut the bars diagonally into sticks while they are still warm.
Cool on a wire rack and store the brown sticks in a tight box.