Fruits and berries mature slowly in the cold climate. This makes for a tendency to smaller volume with a more intense taste. Strawberries, blueberries, lingonberries, raspberries and apples are popular and are part of a variety of desserts, and cherries in the parts of the country where those are grown. (If you've ever visited an Ikea store, you'll have a chance to try lingonberries cooked in several different ways!)
The wild growing cloudberry is regarded as a delicacy. A typical Norwegian dessert on special occasions is cloudberries with whipped or plain cream.
German and Nordic-style cakes and pastries, such as sponge cakes and Danish pastry (known as "wienerbrød", literal translation: "Viennese bread") share the table with sweet breads - "kaffebrød" (literally: "coffee bread", named for its accompaniment, not ingredients), waffles and biscuits. Cardamom is a common flavouring.
The Norwegians, like the rest of us, have many traditional cookies that cook mainly at Christmas: Sandbakels, Pepperkaker, Morkaker and, of course, Fattigmands Bakkelser.
My family doesn't have a Danish bone in their body, but Fattigmands Bakkelser was a cookie that we made every Christmas, sometimes flavored with Cardamom and sometimes with Cinnamon. I think my Dad liked the name of the cookie more than the cookie itself, as he always called them "Fat Man's Buckles"!
10 egg yolks
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp. cognac or other brandy
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In large mixer bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar about 10 minutes or until very thick and lemon colored. Stir in cream, cognac, cardamom and lemon peel. Mix in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Cover; chill at least 3 hours.
Heat fat or oil (at least 2 inches deep) to 375°. Divide dough in half. Roll each half very thin, 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick, on well-floured board. Cut dough into 4"x2" diamonds. Make 1-inch horizontal slit in center of each; draw a long point of diamond through slit and curl back in opposite direction.
Fry in hot fat about 15 seconds on each side or until light brown. Drain.
Store in airtight container. Before serving, sprinkle with confectioners' (icing) sugar.
Yield: 4 dozen cookies.