Jødekager - Danish Christmas Cookies

Inspired by my recent trips to Copenhagen I made jødekager this weekend. I tried these with hot chocolate while on a canal tour of the city surrounded by fairylights. I read up about their origins online and it seems they were originally made in Jewish bakeries around the city and it became a tradition to make them with children at Christmas.

They are so simple to make and look so pretty. I used the below recipe from Nordic Food & Living.

150g butter
250g plain flour
100g sugar
1 egg
For the topping
50g almonds, chopped
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour in a large mixing bowl until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and stir. Then add one of the eggs and mix with your hands to form a soft dough. It’s quite messy but satisfying when the dough comes together. Pop the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Cover a board or work surface with flour and roll out the dough so that it is about 3 - 4 mm thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out approx. 40 - 50 small cookies. I made circles and stars to be a little extra Christmassy.

Whisk the second egg and brush a little on each cookie. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and sprinkle a fair amount on each one. Then sprinkle the chopped almonds on too. I put almonds on about half of my biscuits so that there were some for everyone’s taste.

Bake in batches for about 7 - 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to move them onto a rack to cool.

Enjoy! Or pop a few into pretty paper bags and share them with friends and family.


Vegan Banana & Date Loaf

Sunday morning and three bananas going slowly brown in the fruit bowl, perfect time for a little baking.  I found a recipe on BBC Good Food and adapted it by swapping the sugar for maple syrup and plain flour for spelt. The end result was quite dense but super tasty and I could feel the goodness in it : )

3 large ripe bananas
75g coconut oil
65ml maple syrup
225g spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla essence
50g chopped dates

Mash the bananas in a big bowl and add all the wet ingredients. Give it a good stir. Then add the dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined. Cook for approximately 40 minutes at 180 fan / 200 degrees. Cover with foil if you feel the top is browning too much. 

Allow to cool on a wire rack and then enjoy with a coffee and a pile of good books. 


Nigel Slater

"Yet I had made something that was mine, something that fitted what I had an appetite for that day."

A chef and a poet and one of the only people who's ever left me a little bit star-struck! Today was a day for Nigel Slater cook books. Overcast and grey, it was the perfect day to hideaway and bake. My favourite ever of his recipes is the chocolate and hazelnut cake on the last pages of the 2002 version of his book Appetite. This cake is so popular in my family that my brother-in-law once asked for it as a Christmas present.