Making Kringla

Kringla Splash

Norwegian Kringla – A favorite!

Oh, there is nothing that is quite like Norwegian kringla!   The first time I tasted it was in Decorah in 2012.  It was a brand called Nordic Norm’s.  While Norm’s is good, you cannot beat something homemade.  On that visit, I fell in love with the Iowa town of Decorah and, even to this day, long to return for the fishing, recreation, and the friendly people.  🙂

VT KringlaKringla has now become part of the fishing tradition.  I like to carry a few pieces in a bag and munch on them while catching some fish and enjoying the tranquility of the region.

Packed with carbs (more than a diabetic needs to consume), Kringla is a shortbread with a subtle sweetness to it.  Unlike the crunchier English shortbread cookies(such as Walker’s Shortbread), kringla is softer.  Why?  Because it contains heavy cream, sour cream, shortening, sugar, and egg yolk as well as some almond extract and it is lightly baked to retain the soft texture.  This heavenly pastry just dissolves in your mouth… and probably clogs up the arteries as it goes down!

Kringla 2

Why infinity? It’s traditional… and might indicate the time needed to burn off the calories!

Fast forward to this evening… I was at work trying to dream up some new recipes to take along this week when I go fishing and camping.  The destination will likely be Decorah and Serena is going along, weather permitting.  Thinking of Decorah, I longed for the melt-in-your-mouth pastry, vowing to make some myself!  In recent days, I had done some surfing and found several recipes and read about the kringla making technique.

The recipe I tried to concoct was so-so.  It was not sweet enough and needed more sugar.  A bit more almond extract was required as well.  After that, I was excited to roll out the first rope of dough and have some piping hot kringla!

The first tray (with the V.T. initials) on it tasted like crap.  First, the oven had not been up to temperature.  I had also rolled the cold dough into balls, then into little ropes to form the letters and other designs.  The dough came out crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside.  The flavor was okay but the texture was gross!  What a disappointment!

With time, the dough warmed and became very soft and highly pliable.  Just from gravity, the little ropes tried to stretch apart when held up.  I formed the pieces into the traditional “infinity” signs and baked the cookies.  The next part was almost magical.

The second batch blew me away!  The taste, smell, and texture was heavenly.  On top of that, the kringla was hot out of the oven.  The almond smell wafted into the sinuses and for a few seconds, nothing else mattered.  It was pure bliss.  I got a little choked up thinking about how much fun has been had up north in that special place.

There is kringla in the freezer now, waiting to be taken along on this week’s trip and consumed down by the trout streams.  At least one new camping spot and a new nature trail awaits.  More recipes will be tested and written down to share in the cookbook.  And, of course, there will be more cat pictures, too.

Thanks for popping in… Watch for a post later in the week.  Take care and have some fun.  Life’s too short not to enjoy the smell of fresh baked Norwegian desserts!

Brad, the “Van Trekker”


About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Making Kringla

  1. brenda says:

    Hi! I’m Norwegian (& Swedish) living in Dutch country (Pella) & was raised on kringla! Ours are always shaped like a pretzel & it takes A LOT of practice to make the shape right. Love them w/ butter spread on the bottom & they freeze very well. You should make a trip to story center to try some kumla (sp?) & lefsa! Those are also a staple of Norwegian cuisine. Kumla is a potatoe dish that is grated, liquid squeezed out, adding flour to form balls & boiled like dumplings in a ham hock broth. YUMMM! It’s sister dish (krupkrakka-sp?) That adds salt pork & onions in the middle of the dumpling before boiling. Both of these are actually better left over cuz we cut them in half & fry in butter. Now I’m getting hungry!! 🙂

    • VanTrekker says:

      Wow! That sounds so good! I can’t remember exactly where Story Center is… (north central Iowa?). Maybe next spring I can make it out that way. It sounds like a fun place to visit! There is still some kringla left from that first batch. You’re right – it does freeze really well! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      • bjdj1206 says:

        Oops my bad! Its actually Story City by Ames. I’ve never been but they have Scandinavian Days. You would probly like the ludefisk (a white fish). 🙂

  2. Marianne says:

    Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to tears at work so I
    decided to check out your website on my iphone
    during lunch break. I enjoy the info you provide here and
    can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent site!