We call them Cake Men or Men of cake and this is a cookie that really belongs to Christmas for me. This I made every Christmas with my boys when they was younger. For the school Christmas workshops in elementary school, I allways made a triple portion , and spent a hole day at school baking with the children. There are many good memories .. Now I make new memories, by taking my grandchildren with me in the kitchen.
This cake has a long tradition in many places in Norway, and it also has different names. Here in the south of Norway it is also known as «Gøtte-kæll». Not easy to say for a non norwegian, but it means Goodie Man.
Making this cookies is a fairly simple matter, as long as you have a rolling pin and some cookie cutters. They can be decorated werry simpl with just the traditional red stripes. Or you can turn the decoration up a notch, and use royal icing and melted chocolate. I allways do it the simple way, not because I dont like the decorated ones, but I hav not had time to practis my royal icing tecniques yet. So that I leave up to you to do 🙂
Recipe for 65 medium sized cookies:
- 1 cups milk
- 17.8 oz (500 gr) sugar
- 4 tsp horn salt (hartshorn)
- 35.7 oz (1 kg) flour + more for rolling
- 8.9 oz (250 gr) butter
- 3 -4 tsp vanilla sugar
- 2 eggs
Mix together the flour and half of the sugar in the mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add it into the flour. Knead using your hands or use a standing mixer on low speed, and work until all lumps of butter are dissolved in to the flour.
Add the vanilla and mix again.
Pour the milk and remaining sugar in a saucepan, and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and let slightly cool.
Then add in the Horn salt and stir well.
Attention! It will develope a stong smell from the horns salt and it will swell; so do not use the smallest saucpan.
Beat the eggs lightly, using a fork and pour in to the flour. Do also add the milk mixture. Start the mixer on low speed and mix until the dough just start to come together. Knead the dough with your hands into a lump, if necessary, add little more flour on the table while you work.
Try to knead as little as possible .. If the dough do not look perfect, it will come more together later on when you make the cookies.
Cover dough with plastic whrap and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator an hour or so before you start baking, to soften it up a bit.
Divide the dough into 5 equal portions and roll out the first portion, using a rilling pin.
Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface and make sure that the dough do not stick to the tablre. Match the thickness of the dough before cutting any cookies. 3/16 insh ( 3 – 4 mm)
Cut the cookies and remove the exsess dough.
Put the cookies on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in the middle section of the oven at 347 F (175) degrees for 10 – 14 minutes . Be careful when you bake the first tray of cookies, and notice just how long baking time it takes in your oven.
Cool the cookies on wire rack.
If you look at the cookies in the picture, you will see that the goat is more baked than the lady. It is just as much as is needed for the cookie to turn to dry. The lady cookie looks almost not baked on top, but underneath she has a nice crust. So try to bake the cookies as little as possible and lift a cookie using a angeled spatula and look underneath for the crust.
When the cookies has cooled, you can go bananas with melted chocolate, royal icing and food colors, and decorate as you likings.
The cookies can be stored for a few days in a cookie jar or they can be stored in the freezer !
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