Saturday, January 30, 2010

Grandpa Burnson's Berry Butternuts

This is David Burnson , Sr in his younger years. He created the berry butternut recipe that has become a well-loved and tasty family Christmas tradition. Now his son and daughters also make this for their Christmases too. To fully do this delicious cookie justice real butter and raspberry jam are a must! However the lactose intolerant in the family may substitute a dairy free margarine. You will need:
  • 1 lb. of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 4 to 5 cups flour
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • raspberry jam

Cream together butter, sugar, and salt. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add 4 cups of flour, mixing in one cup at a time, then add as much of the 5th cup until the dough can be rolled into a ball without sticking.

Take a small fist sized ball of dough and roll it into a 1 inch thick log and then roll that into the chopped walnuts coating the dough. It should be about 3/4 inch thick now.

Cut into 3/4 inch pieces and place onto a baking sheet 1 inch apart.

Using the unsharpend end of a pencil, make an indentation in the center of the cookie about 1/2 inch deep and fill with jam.

Bake the cookies in a 325 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

After cooling the cookies , store them in airtight containers. Just like short breads the taste of these cookies improves after a couple of days. Enjoy !

Monday, January 25, 2010

What to Feed Your Tax Man

We really like cinnamon rolls. Pretty much all baked goods, especially ones bought from a store bakery will contain milk in some form or another. Since I can't have milk, and I want to eat cinnamon rolls, I have to make my own. I started off using a dinner roll recipe handed down from my mom. It goes as follows: 6 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1 cup milk ( I've used Rice Milk here. ) 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 3 Tbsp sugar, 1 packet of yeast ( 2 tsp. )
We like to use our bread machine to do the actual mixing part so we add all ingredients in the order given above and set the bread machine to the 'Dough' setting. This usually takes 1 hour and 30 minutes for it to do it's thing. Next: Remove dough and roll out into large square on floured surface. Spread butter ( I use Nucoa Margarine since it contains no milk. ) all over surface of your dough. Spread handfuls of brown sugar over butter - no need to be stingy here! Sprinkle cinnamon over brown sugar and butter and spread together with a spatula. Roll dough up like a jelly roll and cut into pieces about 2 inches wide.

Place each piece swirl side down in a 9 X 13 " baking pan. Cover with towel and let rise for at least 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until slightly golden on top. Mix up 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp water to create glaze. Drizzle over rolls and cover with lid or foil to keep moisture in. If you do not cover them right away they will dry out. Usually makes 12 rolls. Before we started using Turbo Tax, we used to have an accountant friend do our taxes for us each year. He'd accept payment for his services in the form of a pan of cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


from the Natural babyfood cookbook
The book was well used
1/2 cup honey
( Cedar Pond Honey would have been nice)
1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter
( the kind you have to mix to blend the oil)
1-2 cups instant nonfat dry milk powder
If you use the other kind of peanut butter it will be different I never have used it so I am not sure of the consistency but you could probably adjust the other ingredients
Mix together until well blended
start with 1 cup milk powder
add more until rolling consistency
1/4 cup at a time
( you may not use all of the second cup)

It will be a bit gooey but not too sticky
It will be oily because of the natural peanut butter

Then you just roll it into balls
and wrap in wax paper.
you can use a cookie scoop if you like

or roll it into a log, cut with a knife
and roll into balls then wrap in wax paper

I put them in a ziploc bag and keep them in the refrigerator. They are great for camping, hiking fishing trips or hunting trips or if you are running low on energy and need a quick pick me up. I used them for my kids because two of them were effected by sugar. I even had them fooled into thinking they were "real" candy but they grew up and eat what ever they like now. My son still has very fond memories of coming home from school and having these for a special snack

This is sort of a test to see if I could do it. I am not very smart when it comes to the computer and am learning very slowly. The memory isn't as good as it use to be but it looks like a success to me. I am hoping to post KRUMKAKE next but i will need a weekend to do that, it is time consuming and with the babies this week I won't have time. Hope you enjoy these...WE ARE!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lefse, Lefsa, We Love Lefsa!

Lefsa is very much a part of my family's tradition. We usually had lefsa for Christmas, and if we were lucky and Grandma was visiting we would have it at other times too. My Mother loved lefsa , as did we kids. Although Mom was a good cook she rarely made lefsa. She would ask her mother to make it and send it via Greyhound Bus to our city, then Mom would drive downtown ( which was NOT close to home )to pick up the package of lefsa at the bus station. Mom would give each of us girls 1 piece and and save the rest of this precious package of lefsa for herself.

I LOVE lefsa. I hate potatoes in almost all edible forms, but lefsa is the exception. ( shown above,Suzanne Toftey's Lefsa Girl)

Lefsa , pronounced lef-sa, is the Norwegian tortilla, sort of.You need very little to make lefsa. Shown above is the lefsa rolling pin with it's special ridges, the long flat lefsa stick which makes it easier to lift the lefsa and turn it onto the griddle. The ingredients for lefsa are potatoes, flour, shortening, and a few dashes of salt. The recipe:
  • 2 cups riced potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tablespoon shortening
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
Boil whole and unpeeled enough potatoes to give you 2 cups of riced potatoes. When I can push a fork easily through the potatoes they are done. I take them off the stove and drain them. While they cool a little I assemble the other needed items.
I get out my potato ricer ( shown above ) found especially at Scandinavian stores and IKEA. I also begin to heat my griddle for cooking the lefsa and I put out the cooling racks on the counter, and place clean toweling on the racks for placing the lefsa hot off the griddle.

Whole unpeeled potatoes boiling ( above ) .After the drained potatoes have cooled a little, peel them by hand. I need a pot holder to hold the hot potatoes as I do this.
Put the cooked and peeled, but still hot potatoes through the ricer. Add the shortening and salt, then half the flour , using your hands to do the mixing. This allows you to feel the dough and gauge the necessary flour. Knead in the rest of the flour as desired while rolling out the dough. You want the dough to be soft and smooth,very pliable... not too sticky, not too dry.Note that using too much flour will give you a hard dough that cooks up to the consistency of shoe leather or cardboard,the kind Norwegian jokes are told about.

Roll the dough into golf ball size balls with your hands, then place the ball of dough on a floured surface, flattening with your hand and turning over on the floured surface to begin rolling out with the lefse rolling pin. Roll the lefse out as thin as possible-this might require you to stop and flour the rolling surface and the rolling pin every so often, then sliding the flat lefse stick under it to release it from the rolling surface, you should be able to use the stick to carefully lift the rolled out lefsa ( which will resemble a tortilla ) and place it onto a hot griddle. The size of my lefsa cooking surface determines the size of my pieces of lefsa.
When one side of the lefsa is slightly brown, turn the lefsa over using the lefsa stick and cook up the other side. After the lefsa is cooked nicely on both sides lift it off the griddle and place it on the cooling racks. The coffee is brewing, the soft butter and cinnamon and sugar are out. We eat a few pieces as I cook up the rest of the batch.
When I was in high school my Grandma Berg visited us and taught me how to make lefsa. I make lefsa often enough and although it is a family tradition at Christmas to have this as our breakfast, I also make it a few times throughout the year. Lefse is indeed a common thread running through my family. I taught my daughter, and my youngest son's wife to make it after I bought them a lefse rolling pin, lefsa turning stick, and potato ricer. My son's wife makes this frequently. I plan on teaching my grandchildren how to make lefsa and while doing so will tell them about their Great-Grandma Berg who taught me. And of course there is this, I LOVE to eat LEFSA!
Butter the lefsa and after adding whatever else you want to put on the lefsa, roll it up and enjoy!My side of the family usually ate lefsa just buttered, or buttered with cheese and / or meat inside . My husband's family ( the Burnsons' ) eat their lefsa with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Those Burnson's do have the sweet tooth! Quite a few in our family are extremely lactose intolerant and a lactose free margarine works quite well too, but as shown above, I always roll out and specially mark the lefse that I have gone ahead and prepared just for them.