I spent yesterday baking.
And making some treats which needed no baking at all.
I had help but, nevertheless, it was an epic accomplishment with my bum arm. I produced several types of goodies, but there was one particular treat I was thrilled to be preparing.
For the first time since my car accident, I made fattigman. (Pronounced, at least by me, as fot-a-min.)
What is fattigman? It's a, sort-of, diamond shaped, traditional, Norwegian cookie. Cooks often whip them up at Christmas time, but they're not exclusively a "Christmas cookie." You can make fattigman anytime you want. In Scandinavia, they're also known as Poor Man Cookies.
One other important fact, fattigman are fried to create a light, crispy, exterior.
Yes, I said fried. No, I don't own a deep fryer. (I live in California, remember? We're all about healthy eating here.) I just fry fattigman in a regular old pan.
I'm an improviser.
Before you dismiss fattigman based on the terrible sin of being a fried food, can I just say … nom, nom, nom?!!
Some foods are made to be splurged on once a year.
My mom used to make fattigman cookies around the holidays. I've always loved them even though mine never come out perfectly shaped. They're so different from most cookies. They aren't overly sweet, but they have just enough sweetness to be satisfying when you're craving a little sumpin-sumpin. (They're also very good with coffee or hot tea.)
I mentioned fattigman on Twitter and it generated several requests for me to post about these delicious treats. There are many variations to fattigman recipes, but here's the one that has been handed down in my family:
1 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cream (heavy cream not half and half!)
1/4 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1 pinch of salt
4 cups of flour (plus some extra flour for rolling the dough)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom (you can substitute a mix of cinnamon/nutmeg if you can't find cardamom)
Oil for deep frying
You will need two bowls.
In one bowl beat the eggs.
Add in the sugar, continuing to beat the mixture. Next, add in the cream and melted butter.
Beat until the ingredients are well mixed.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ones until well mixed. The dough will be sticky. Add in more flour until the dough is soft and ready to be rolled.
Roll the dough very thin. (Thank you to my daughter for helping out with this part!)
Cut the dough into diamonds. (There is a special fattigman cutter you can buy, or you can just use a pizza cutter like we did – or you can even use a table knife to cut the dough into diamonds.)
Cut a slit in the middle of each diamond strip and pull one end through the slit.
Fry briefly – they cook very quickly. They should be a light golden color. (Seriously, you need to watch them closely or they'll burn. Not that I would know anything about that ….)
Allow the cookies to drain and cool on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Finally, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
(My son was inhaling them as fast as I could make them.)
© Twenty Four At Heart