Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Finally posted!! Sorry it took so long. I am all over the Kleinur!!!!!! For step by step illustrated instructions, download the pdfs which are linked below.

Cinnamon Roll

Ömmu-kanelsnú∂ar (Granny's cinnamon rolls)
Adapted from Cool Cuisine by Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir, Vaka-Helgafell.

Richard Lewis, Dessert of the Month entry for May 2009

From my many visits to Iceland over the years, I've accumulated quite a number of Icelandic cookbooks. Unfortunately, most of them are not available outside of Iceland - like this one
(unless you want to buy the used copy up on Amazon at the moment for $50, which seems a bit much!). I've never actually seen these little rolled cinnamon shortbread-like cookies on my
travels, but they are great, and you probably won't find the recipe elsewhere...
700g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baker's ammonia
225g sugar
200g cold butter
2 eggs
50g melted butter
1 tbs cinnamon
Mix the flour with the baking powder and baker's ammonia in a bowl. Add 150g of the sugar
and mix. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and crumble it thoroughly into the dry ingredients
using a mixer.

Make a well in the middle of the crumbs and break the eggs into it. Gradually stir into the mixer
at low speed and knead until smooth. If the dough does not come together, add cold cream by
tablespoons. Remove from the bowl and form into a disk (you may need to knead it a little to get
all the dough bits to stick together) - wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 355°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it into a rectangle,
about 25 x 35 cm. The dough will be pretty firm, but you should be able to shape it pretty well.
Brush the dough with the melted butter.
Trim the edges of the dough so they are straight. Mix the remaining 75g of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle it over the dough.
Roll up the rectangle, starting at one of the long sides. I recommend using Silpat for these
cookies as it makes it easier to roll the dough.
Cut the roll into 1 cm thick slices and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment
Bake the rolls in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until nicely brown and crisp. Enjoy!


Kleinur (Icelandic doughnuts)
Adapted from Icelandic Food & Cookery by Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir, Hippocrene Books.

Richard Lewis, Dessert of the Month entry for May 2009
There are variations on this theme around Scandinavia, but here is how to make the Icelandic
version. This recipe tends to make kleinur that are a little more crisp and less dough-y than other
versions, which I like. You can get them pretty much all over in Iceland, even at the airport. I've
never seen them anywhere in the USA, though...

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baker's ammonia (use a mix of baking soda and baking powder if you don't have it)
Pinch of salt
6 tbs butter
2 eggs
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/4 cup buttermilk (you may not use all of it)
oil for frying
Grinding fresh cardamom makes a difference! I love my mortar and pestle - it gets a lot of use for grinding spices. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baker's ammonia, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and stir until
combined. Add eggs and flavoring and mix well.
Add the buttermilk little by little until the dough is fairly soft, but not sticky. If the dough gets too wet, don't panic - just add flour until it all comes back together.
The dough is pretty forgiving.
Flour a flat surface, take the dough out of the bowl, and roll it out to around 1/8 to 1/6 inch thickness.Don't sweat it too much over the shape - you're going to end up trimming off pieces and re-
rolling this out several times with dough scraps.
Trim off one edge of the dough so that you have a straight side.Use a bench scraper or some other long straight edge to mark out parallel lines roughly 1 1/2
inches apart. Now would be a good time to start heating the oil for frying - a good sized wok works great as the vessel for frying.
Mark off diagonal lines that are spaced out about 3 inches apart.Once you have the whole surface of the dough marked off, go ahead and cut through the dough
fully to make lots of little diamonds. Make a little slit in the center of each diamond, and pull one end of the dough through the center slit.I make all of the diamonds first, and place them on lightly-floured baking sheets. Take all the
scraps from the first set of diamonds, roll it out again, and repeat until you've used up basically all the dough. They recommend getting the oil to 375°F. I usually just wing it, and try a small bit of dough in
the oil to figure out if it's at frying temperature (it'll start sizzling and turning brown when it's hot
enough). Fry the bows, 6 at a time in the oil until just golden, about 2 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to turn them over once for even cooking. Cook them a bit less on the other side. Use the spoon to remove the bows from the oil, and let them cool and drain on paper towel. Technically, that is it - but I like to dust them with a little powdered sugar just before eating,
even though it's not traditional. Wait until they are cool so the heat and steam don't make the sugar gummy).
Dunking in coffee also works well!

June DOTMC: Strawberry Rhubarb Crema Catalana

These days I’m super into using the best ingredients I can find. For this recipe I wanted to use the fruit from my CSA and fresh raw dairy from my dairy club. I’m also trying not to use refined sugar or corn starch wherever possible so I thought I’d give this a go. This is a traditional Catalan dessert made slightly modern through the use of ingredients as it is usually made with sugar, corn or potato starch and no fruit. Play around with it and fee free to borrow my cast iron caramelizing tool!

5 stalks fresh rhubarb
1 ½ t. butter
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup honey

Slice and sautee the rhubarb in butter until soft, approximately 4-5 minutes. Combine with strawberries in a large bowl, refrigerate.

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons honey (more to taste if you wish)
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks
1 T kuzu powder
2 T maple crystals

Pour milk into pan, add 2 T honey, the vanilla bean seeds and bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.
While the milk is heating, beat the egg yolks, 2 T honey and the kuzu. Gradually stir in the hot milk and then return the mixture to the pan. Bring back to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes or until thickened to the consistency of soft pudding. Strain out the vanilla seeds and pour into a serving dish or 4 individual serving dishes, add 2 T of the strawberry-rhubarb mixture to the middle of the custard, let cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour (will be fine covered with plastic for up to a day.) Just before serving, sprinkle maple crystals on top and using either a kitchen torch or cast iron tool specifically for this purpose, burn the crystals to caramelize.

Serves 4

Friday, June 12, 2009


I'm such a dud I totally forgot to post two rad summer desserts I made recently! The Raspberry Buttermilk cake from a recent Gourmet issue and Banana Pudding ice cream!


I had this dessert at Ipanema in Rchmond VA. It is vegan poached pear with pecans and a shortbread tart in a caramel sauce. We attacked it, needless to say.
This month we have Richard and Lynne's double dessert whammy that will be posted up here soon. Next up is Molly Neuman! In the mean time.....
Let's get some summer pies up here people!