Christmas is coming. The other night I heard a Christmas Beetle buzzing about outside and I rushed out to gaze at him for a little while, drawing on the memories I have of these little fellas. A Friday night at swimming club was rarely complete without someone catching a beetle or two and placing them on someone else’s back, knowing very well that those little legs would stick to the lyrca of our togs.
Of course Christmas Beetles are not the only sign that herald the nearing of Christmas. The most obvious thing in our house would be the baking that is done. All sorts of goodies picked up from the Christmases that Mum spent in Iceland when she was a new bride in a houseful of kids in a fishing village in Iceland’s Northwest Fjords. The first two recipes in our (Mum’s) biscuit book (which incidentally is in an Icelandic exercise book with stílabók on the front cover) are two Icelandic/Nordic Christmas biscuit recipes. One is Vanilla Rings and the other are Loftkökur.
Loftkökur are a quirky little biscuit that you either love or dislike, Mum falls into the dislike category but for as long as she has lived with Pabbi she has made them for the rest of the family to enjoy at Christmas.
Looking at the recipe Mum has written down in the book it is funny to see the mixing of Icelandic and English used either for measurements or the names of ingredients
750g icing sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp hartshorn salt (Hjartasalt in Icelandic or Ammonium bicarbonate – you can get this from some speciality grocery stores or the chemist)
5 tbsp cocoa
This can easily be halved, and I would probably recommend halving it if you are making it for the first time as it does make a lot of Loftkökur.
Mix the ingredients together and refrigerate the mixture overnight.
If you have a biscuit attachment for your mixer use that and ideally you would use the zigzag attachment. You would then feed an arm’s length onto your arm and then carefully flip it onto a well greased baking tray and cut it into thumb size lengths.
If you don’t have a biscuit attachment you will need to roll the mixture into sausages a bit thicker than your thumb and slice it every 1/4″. Then press down on the flat side with a fork to give it some decoration. This is also what we do with the leftover mixture that the mixer can’t process.
Place on well greased trays and cook at about 150°C. They are cooked when they slide on the tray when pushed. Probably 10 minutes or so.
They are best drunk with cold milk and if you are feeling adventurous have a Loftkökur Slammer (just like a Tim Tam one).