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Sweeten Up the Holidays with Scandinavian Treats

The holidays are fast approaching, which means it’s time to start wrapping gifts, decorating the house, and planning menus for festive feasts. Most of us have traditions that we stick to each year, but it can be fun to shake things up a little. Nobody does Christmas like the Scandinavians, and their holiday desserts, while simple, are perfect for a cozy evening by the fire.

Whichever holiday you celebrate this season, try incorporating one of these recipes into your festivities; they could just become your new favorite tradition.

These sweet and spiced buns are typically served on St. Lucia day, symbolizing the beginning of the Christmas season, but we could see them being the perfect Christmas Day breakfast served with hot chocolate. The buns combine the unique flavors of saffron and raisin with a soft, doughy interior. Twist them into spirals or roll them into balls - either way, they’re delicious.

A variation of a classic rice pudding, risalamande is a dessert that perfectly represents the holidays with its pops of white and red. The Danish recipe tops plain rice pudding with sliced almonds, whipped cream and warm cherry compote. Close out your Christmas Eve dinner with this dish, and don’t forget to hide one whole almond in someone’s cup. The person to find it wins a prize!

Julekake is the kind of sweet that could be eaten as dessert or served for breakfast with coffee and fruit. This Norwegian loaf blurs the lines, because while it is bread, it is also topped with a sweet and decadent icing. Similar to Italian panettone, the recipe calls for pieces of candied fruits, raisins, and almond flavoring. We just know this Christmas bread will be devoured quickly in our house.

If you are looking for a new holiday recipe but need something simple or small, then these cookies will do the trick. These traditional Swedish cookies are a classic for Christmas, and we are sure they won’t taste like any cookies you have made before. Flavored with cardamom and lemon, they are spiced and topped with sweet icing. Enjoy to your heart’s content, but don’t forget to leave some out for Santa!

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