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Holiday Kransekake

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, cake batter was stirring and the scent of almonds wafted about! # 105: Holiday Kransekake

Merry Christmas Eve! Our little Christmas tree in the background is named Chris Pine Tree and it’s really happy that I did another tree-shaped bake.

This delightful stack of almond rings is a Norwegian dessert, traditionally made for weddings. The name “kransekake” (Norwegian) or “kransekage” (Danish) translates to “wreath cake.” My drippy icing attempt was an attempt to make it look like a festive tower of wreaths waiting to be hung on your front door!

Gotta love a little personality in your cake towers – straight sides and even layers would be boring! I decided to freehand the rings instead of buying the molds, so there’s no shortage of personality here. Each ring is a simple mix of almond flour, egg whites, almond extract and powdered sugar. It’s essentially baked marzipan, so it has a crispy exterior and a soft chewy middle.

I didn’t have quite enough almond flour, so I added in a few spoonfuls of all purpose flour to bring it up to the right weight. If you don’t do this, it would make a lovely gluten-free option for a holiday party!

Sifting is key!! Powdered sugar is the worst culprit of clumping.

Keep working it until it comes together – it will, I promise.

I read through several different recipes and one of them suggesting using a dough hook. The dough is pretty dense and dry so it’s easier to knead it with the dough hook instead of by hand.

Legit looks like a block of marzipan. YUM.

I tried a couple different ways of portioning out the dough. The best way I found was rolling it all out to a half inch thick and slicing it into strips. You can then make some longer or shorter til you have a even range of sizes.

Before

After – voila!

Super messy action shot! (I don’t recommend trying to balance on a stool to take pics with sugary hands.)

I arranged each one into a circle and pressed the ends together. After a quick trip to the oven, they were crispy and ready to stack! I whipped up a quick icing with meringue powder, water, food coloring and powdered sugar. I’ll be increasing the ratio of powdered sugar to liquid next time to get a stiffer icing. The thicker consistency will help fight gravity when piping it on the sides of the rings.

Merry Christmas to all you lovely humans! Now go break off a piece and start munching!

Recipe partly from: http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/pauls-kransekake/

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