While my father was full-blooded Norwegian, there was very little evidence of this part of our heritage in our home. I've always been rather sad about that, and I don't know why we didn't explore it more. He DID make us Norwegian pancakes on Christmas Day, and occasionally we had krumkake.
Krumkake. We always pronounced it krum-ka-ka, so I've always been a little bit hesitant when asked what it is. It usually entitles me to a funny look and a turned up nose. Some of my other relatives (including ones in Norway) pronounce it krum-kake, while a friend from high school calls it kroom-kaga. Well, however you say it, it doesn't hide that fact that this is one pretty and tasty little cookie.
I'm originally from California and moved to Oklahoma when I married. We typically stayed home and spent Christmas with my husband's family. At some point, I started to make krumkake for Christmas and it became somewhat of a tradition. Until this year, however, I hadn't made it for several years. So this year, I ditched my electric Pizelle maker that I'd be using and went for the old-school authentic Krumkake Iron.
The krumkake iron sits directly on the stove burners and is indented with a frilly pattern. While it's relatively easy to make, it IS time consuming as you can only make one cookie at a time.
When the iron is hot, I brush both sides of the iron with melted butter, place about a tablespoon of batter on the iron, lower the other half and hit the timer.
Cooking time depends on how high of heat you use. I use a 4 setting and cook the first side for 35 seconds, then flip it over and cook the other side for 1 minute 25 seconds. I burned a lot of cookies before I got the heat and time just right.
When the cookie is golden brown you remove it from the iron and roll it around a cone-shaped tube while it is still pliable. Invariably, I burn my fingers. I have no idea how NOT to burn my fingers. I think it's just part of the ritual.
Grandma Signe's Krumkake (makes about 5 dozen)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup water
4 cups flour
1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add eggs and vanilla; and mix.
3. Add alternately, water and flour.
4. Drop by tablespoon on iron.