When I started this blog back in 2006, one of the earliest experiments I did was to try my hand at Swedish gingersnaps. Sadly I didn't put any reference in that blog post to where I found it, but it turned out to be a winner and I've never strayed from it since.
Lussekatt recipes, however, are another matter entirely, year after year I try and I've not been happy with them. Until this year. And it's actually a recipe I've made before, but this time without the filling and with a new tip from my Mum's weekly magazine. And Lundulph will not stop eating these, I swear his stomach is taking the shape of a giant lussekatt.
Makes about 75 small ones
1 large egg
1 pinch salt
1 g saffron, ground if available
½ dl granulated sugar
3 tbsp white rum or other pale spirit
1.5 dl raisins or sultanas
2 dl dark rum
150 g unsalted butter at room temperature
1.5 dl light or golden syrup
5 dl semi-skimmed milk
50 g fresh yeast
1 large egg
14 dl strong white flour
- Break the first egg into a cup, add the pinch of salt and whisk to make the egg wash. Let stand on the side until required.
- If the saffron is not ground, place it together with the granulated sugar in a pestle and mortar and grind together as finely as possible.
- Transfer the saffron and sugar to a glass and add the white rum, stir together and let stand - this draws out more colour and flavour from the saffron.
- Pour the dark rum over the raisins/sultanas and leave them to soak. Cover the dish with a lid or cling film, to stop the kitchen smelling like a distillery.
- In a bowl, whisk together the soft butter and syrup as fluffy as possible - this is a small amount, so would be difficult, but make sure they combine well.
- Warm up the milk to about 40 °C in a saucepan.
- In the bowl of your mixer, crumble up the fresh yeast, then pour the warm milk over and stir until the yeast has dissolved fully.
- Add the second egg, the saffron mixture and a couple of tablespoons of the butter syrup mixture, followed by 11 dl of the flour.
- Let the mixer work the mixture into a very soft dough (almost like a thick batter). Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes.
- Prepare a couple of baking sheets with baking paper and have a couple of further baking papers ready. Also have a cooling rack ready so you can swap the baking sheets quickly.
- Now start the mixer again and add the butter-syrup mixture, then the remaining 3 dl of the flour, one at a time to bring the dough together and make it almost non-sticky and still very soft.
- Pre-heat the oven to 225 °C (top/bottom heat, 205 °C if fan assisted).
- Divide the dough in 2 parts, leave one in the bowl covered and roll out the other one to about 1 cm thickness.
- Cut into strips of 1.5 cm thickness and about 15 cm length, then roll each strip and shape into an "S" and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Once the sheet is filled, drain the raisins from the rum (do not throw it away!) and push a raisin into the middle of each swirl of the "S" shapes, then brush with the egg wash.
- Continue with the remaining dough.
- Let the lussekatter proof for about 30 minutes before baking for 8 - 9 minutes.
- After baking, transfer to the cooling rack and let cool down completely, before storing in an air tight container or food bag.
- The buns are best served on the day of baking. To bring back the fluffiness in the following couple of days, whizz for a few seconds in the microwave before eating. Otherwise, freeze immediately once they've cooled down.
Use the left-over dark rum from the raisins to enhance your mulled wine.