"Time to filet the krumsakringlekakke?" Olaf's Frozen Adventure themed dinner and dessert!
Lingonberry jam is my JAM. Lingonberries only grow in the arctic tundra! They taste sort of like a a cranberry had a berry baby with a raspberry.
This weekend we needed some Norway in our life. We have two little princesses in this house, so needless to say, Anna and Elsa have been ever present in our daily lives. I emphasize "daily".
Olaf's Frozen Adventure, released in 2017, is a Disney short where Olaf tries to find a family tradition for Anna and Elsa to celebrate the holiday. He and Sven sing their way through town, visiting everyone in Arendelle asking what they do during "that time of year"in hopes to bring something back to the castle to brighten their holiday spirits. The decor and bright colors accompanied by the catchy music help tell the story of Norwegian holiday traditions in such a colorful way.
If you have seen this short, then you can recall that there is a lot of referencing to traditional Norwegian baking! I did some research and found some spectacular traditional recipes for Kringla cookies and Norwegian Gold cake. Now that dessert was covered, I did a little more digging and found a recipe for Tradisjonell Kjottkake served at Epcot's Norway Table Service Restaurant Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. For those of you who aren't fluent in Norwegian, that translates to "Traditional Meatloaf" or meatballs. The dish is a belly warming portion of meatballs served over mashed potatoes, topped with a brown gravy and finished with a dollop of lingonberry jam with a side of green beans. I made all of these recipes with non dairy or lactose free and gluten free ingredients, but feel free to swap them out for regular butter/milk/sour cream and regular flour.
First things first, when every you are baking or cooking what do you always need first? SNACKS. Just me?
I grabbed some smoked Salmon because what would a Norwegian meal be without fish? I also grabbed a wedge of Jarlsberg that was imported right from Norway so it rounded off my Norwegian themed apps. Simple. Delicious. Perfect for round one.
Back to baking...let's start with cookies!
This are also called "kringla pretzels". They are a very light and pillowy cookie with simple ingredients and a delicate dough. Very fun and easy to make!
My partner in crime helped me mix the ingredients and assemble the dough. I've yet to meet another three year old that can crack an egg as good as her! We put our Disney Christmas Spotify station on to get started.
Once the dough was assembled, we let it firm up in the fridge for about a half hour. Once its cool and settled, you work the dough into logs and begin making small figure "8"s on a well floured flat surface. Don't worry, they don't have to be perfect! After 1 or 2 you get the hang of it!
Once they are laid out on the parchment, we baked them for roughly 9-10 minutes. I ate them right out of the oven... burned my fingers and everything. I definitely did not control myself. I'm not real big on sweets, except with dark chocolate, any baked good that has to do with chocolate, and Oreos. But these cookies? WOW. Not overly sweet, the sour cream adds a beautiful flavor and texture, and they were light so you can eat 17 of them and not feel THAT bad about it.
After cookies, comes cake. Right?
I have to say, yes this recipe is delectable. But in addition to the recipe and its glory, I used a Frozen themed cast iron Nordic Ware decorative cake mould to bake it in. Let me tell you, the crust on this beauty was so thick. It had the perfect amount of crunch with a warm and fluffy center. It is definitely worth the purchase if you don't have a cast iron cake mould, and I highly recommend getting one to make this cake and future cakes.
Upon researching for the right recipes, I always come across variants with ingredients and usually pick the one that strikes my fancy. This particular recipe called for almond extract so I couldn't turn it down. I did see a few other Norwegian Gold cake recipes that call for orange zest that I may try the next time around. It was my first time making this so I chose to go simple and straight forward to really get a feel for what its supposed to be like before adventuring out "into the unknown". See what I did there?
My little egg cracker was at the ready for this one, being that it called for 5 of them! This assembly is a little different than most cakes where you actually mix the butter and flour first and then add the eggs. After the dough is mixed, I spray the cake mould with some baking spray. Its crucial when making a cake like this with an intricate design to be sure that it doesn't stick to the pan and break apart when trying to remove it. It took about an hour at 325 degrees F to get a clean tooth pick out of the middle of the cake. Once I took it out of the oven, I let it sit face up for about a half hour, and then flipped it over and let it rest in the cake mold another few minutes just to be sure it would fall apart when I removed it.
The results? GOLD. I get why they call it that. I will be making this recipe again. I made both desserts before I made dinner so that they were ready to be devoured right after our meal. And because dessert is the most important part of any meal. Priorities guys!
After making sure our desserts were at the ready, I started on the actual main course... Tradisjonell Kjottkake. This recipe was pretty spot on as far as comparing it to the dish served at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. I had this dish on our honeymoon about 6 years ago but I swear the memory has stuck with me since then. It is definitely a comfort dish with unique flavor that I'm excited to be able to replicate!
I will start by saying as far as ingredients go, I swapped breadcrumbs for old fashioned rolled oats. Not only are they gluten free, but they really lock in moisture and flavor. I use them in my own recipes for meatloaf and meatballs! This recipe calls for some fun spices like nutmeg, allspice, and ginger to really give it that comforting and warm flavor. It also calls for butter, butter, sour cream, and you guessed it, more butter, hence the deliciousness.
I used a mix of beef and pork 2:1, combined the meatball ingredients really well, and browned them in a ceramic lined cast iron pot coated with butter. They smelled AWESOME. Once they were done browning, I let them rest in a large bowl while I started the gravy. Once that was underway, I added the meatballs back in and let them cook about another half hour. I always check the inside to make sure they are cooked all the way through (and someone has to sample them, right?)
I peeled and cut my potatoes into quarters (and when I say "I", I really mean my mom) and boiled them until I could easily get a fork through them. Then I threw them in the mixer with generous amounts of butter and lactose free milk, and whipped them until they were rich and smooth.
I am happy to say that this dish was very close if not exactly the same as what is served in Disney World. It brought us right back to Norway, and all the memories of meeting princesses, waiting in line for the Frozen Ever After attraction, and all the goodies at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. The Lingonberries were a really nice touch, but if you can't find them at the grocery store, you can substitute it with cranberry sauce. The sour cream adds a nice tang and richness to the gravy, and we chose to add some chopped dill for a bit of freshness.
This meal was so much fun to make with the family, and has something for everyone to enjoy. It's the perfect winter recipe, and who doesn't want cookies, cake, and meatballs? This photo was taken over two years ago on Cecelia's first WDW trip. We chose to take her to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall so that she could meet Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Ariel, and Belle. She was only a year old but it left such an impression on her. That smile says it all, and its an experience I will truly never forget.
"Cause when we're together, it's a holiday every night. And when we're together, then the season's bright. I don't need the bells to ring, I'll know when it's here.'Cause when we're together, I could stay forever. And when we're together, it's my favorite time of year."
-Casey, The Travelorian
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups sour cream
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, egg, and sour cream.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the cream mixture and combine completely. Dough will be a little sticky.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Divide dough in half and return 1/2 to refrigerator.
On a floured surface, form dough into a 18" long roll with your hands.
Cut off a narrow (1/2" more or less) slice of dough. Roll lightly with hands on lightly floured board into a pencil width strip about 7-8" long.
Create a figure 8 and pinch the ends together to fasten securely.
Place on lightly greased baking sheet or one topped with a silicone baking mat. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake 8-9 minutes or until just barely lightly golden.
*for additional history on this recipe check out Little Family Adventure blog here
Norwegian Gold Cake
1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Allow butter to become soft, but do not melt. Place butter and flour in mixing bowl. Beat five minutes at low speed.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, blending each egg at slow speed.
3. Sift together sugar, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture.
4. Add extract. Mix for two minutes.
5. After all sugar has been added, turn into cast iron cake mould that has been sprayed with baking spray.
6. Bake 1 hour in 325 degree oven.
7. Once you remove it from the oven, let it cool for twenty minutes before turning it over.
8. Sprinkle top with confectioners' sugar.
*for more history on this recipe check out A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn here
Tradisjonell Kjottkake (Norwegian Meatballs)
1 pound ground beef (80/20)
1/2 pound of ground pork
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup plain old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup of milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
8 tablespoons of butter divided
1/2 cup of flour
4 cups of beef stock
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 tsp salt to taste
1/2 tsp ground pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, add the milk and rolled oats. Allow the milk to be absorbed by the rolled oats and then whisk in the eggs and spices (salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice). Mix until incorporated. Then add the ground meats and with your finger tips, lightly mix the milk-rolled oat mixture into the meat mixture until well combined being mindful not to compact the mixture tightly. This step makes for a light meatball rather than a dense one.
2. Form the meat into 2-oz balls (about the size of golf balls). Into a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt half the butter (4 tbsp) and lightly fry the meatballs, turning until they are browned on all sides, but not cooked through. You may need to work in two batches. Once all the meatballs have been browned remove them from pan and set aside while you prepare the gravy.
3. Into the same skillet or Dutch oven you cooked the meatballs in, add the remaining 4 tbsp butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux and allow to cook for a minute - the roux will still be blonde in color. Then slowly whisk the broth into the roux. Once the roux is incorporated into the broth, turn the heat up to medium and add the meatballs back into the pan and cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat until the meatballs are cooked through. The gravy should come to a boil and thicken as the meatballs simmer. If the gravy is too thick, add a little more broth (or water) to thin it to your desired consistency. If the gravy is too thin you can cook a little longer allowing the sauce to reduce to your desired consistency.
4. Once your desired consistency is reached, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sour cream. Taste the sauce and adjust your seasonings to your desired tastes.
5. Serve with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and Lingonberry jam.
* for more on this brilliant recipe check out kitchendreaming.com