Ever since I was a little girl in pigtails and tiny red wooden clogs, I adored sitting on the counter in the open kitchen of my childhood home, and just look at my beloved mother cooking.
The way she moved ever so gracefully around the kitchen, gathering ingredients to mix together with a wooden spoon in a saucepan or baking bowl.
Sometimes I would stir, crack and egg, roll out or knead the dough, but most of the time I would just watch her do her magic cooking dance in the kitchen, where like the comforting rhythm of her heartbeat, she moved, gathered, mixed, stirred, baked and kneaded. I was always in awe of what deliciousness she would be able to create with little to no ingredients, it seemed to me...
This is also perhaps why I took to cooking much later in life.
Although I have vivid a delightful memories of tasting and feasting on her cooking, I was not very good participating in the cooking part, but perhaps I made up for it in the eating part;)
Perhaps I already back then, was more of a photographer, enjoying the visual ballet of her cooking more than the actual...cooking part.
However, as I grew older and moved out of the nest, I began craving her cooking. Craving the comfort of home, the familiar, the kind of cooking that evokes delightful memories from ones childhood. The kind of cooking that calms and delights and that makes you feel at home even if you´re far way from your country, family or friends.
Ever since I created my own home a few years ago nestled in on a quiet street in a small english town, and began heating up the stove in the wee kitchen of my 200 year old thatched cottage, I found myself again and again tempted to try to recreate these delicious treats that my beloved mother had made me, growing up in Norway.
So, a few weeks ago I invited her to join me in my countryside cottage here in England, and while the cool temperamental spring winds blew outside the window, my mother and I stayed warm inside baking and cooking to our hearts content these childhood treats I had yearned to learn how to make for so long.
Mr Whiskey quietly took his rather lengthy afternoon nap, the freshly ground cardamom aroma infused my cottage kitchen, the fireplace was crackling and my beloved mother and I went down memory lane together, wearing her beautiful old aprons, and while nipping to warm tea.
The bleak english landscape outside was wrapped in a gentle fog that day, and I may or may not have eaten a little bit too many of these sugar based, and cardamom and cinnamon spiced cookies, that in Norway traditionally are baked only at Christmas.
Perhaps there´s a more fluid sense of approaching tradition that comes from living abroad, but there´s certain treats that I think should be brought out on sweet little porcelain plates more than once a year, and Trysilsnipp is among them.
So with a bit of cheeky delight at breaking a few unwritten rules of baking traditional Christmas cookies in March, my beloved mother and I rolled up our sleeves and began baking.
The dough of Trysilsnipp doesn't require any rising time, so if you have guests coming over for afternoon tea, these are easy to whip together last minute. Besides, theres nothing like coming over for tea being greeted by a sweet cloud of warm cardamom and cinnamon cookie aroma, as you open the door;)
(Makes around 30-40 cookies)
1 kg All pupose flour
500g Salted butter
500g Caster sugar
5dl Whole milk
3tea spoons baking powder
3 tea spoons Freshly ground Cardamom
Mix it all together in a large bowl.
If the dough separates a bit, just add a little more flour and knead it till it´s smooth.
Lightly dust your table or use non stick baking paper and roll out the dough to about the thickness of a pencil laid flat on a table.
When you´ve achieved the right thickness, cut out the cookies on a bias turning every cookie into an rectangular diamond.
Butter lightly your oven tray and preheat the oven to 180 Celsius.
Before moving the cookies over to the oven tray, generously sprinkle over a well filled handful of caster sugar and a happy 3-4 tea spoons of cinnamon evenly over the cookies.
gently roll over the cookies with your rolling pin to get the cinnamon and sugar to stick.
Now place the cookies on the buttered baking tray spacing them apart like friends having a stroll in the park, leaving them a little rom to manoeuvre.
Bake till very lightly golden, between 5-7 minutes, leaving them to rest on a rack for 5 min after their time in the oven.
Serve warm or cold, with s strong cup of black coffee, the way the Norwegians from the mountain region of Trysil would.
(Cookies are best eaten within 3 days, but you probably won't have any left by that time)