Denmark is a land known for Hamlet, rainy days and an impossibly difficult language. But the Danes are also pretty great when it comes to hygge. This word encompasses the ideas and feelings of coziness, warmth and comfort, and it basically represents all things good about the Christmas season. So this December, stock up on your Danish desserts, whether it’s buying something sweet online, at World Market, or making it in your kitchen.
These are dry little spiced cookies, that look a little plain, but don’t let that fool you. They’re super addicting because you can eat one in a bite, and a bowl of these bad boys go super quickly. Think of them like a more flavorful Nilla wafer, and pair with tea or hot cocoa.
Speaking of tea, Danes love licorice tea. I’m not talking about Twizzlers, this is like black licorice, but in a palatable way. (But if you love black licorice, prove your intensity with this Danish favorite). Danes drink their tea straight (without sugar or milk) but that doesn’t mean you have to.
Close your eyes and picture this: A spherical pancake, puffy and warm, and eaten at night (not for breakfast), with strawberry jam and powdered sugar. Open your eyes, aeblskiver awaits you. They’re the perfect dessert. Eat many, and often. Pair with gløgg. What’s that you say? Wait for it…
This is mulled wine but on crack. Red wine, cinnamon, cloves, other spices, slivered almonds and raisins (it’s good I promise) come together for a glorious celebration of Christmas. I’m not exaggerating, I’m obsessed. Drink up.
Yes, it kind of sounds like it’s French, but the Danes are very proud of this dish, which is traditionally served on Christmas Eve. Sweet rice pudding gets a twist with cherry or raspberry sauce (um, yum) and an almond hidden in the dish. If you get the almond, you get a prize. Yes, prizes and dessert—the Danish Christmas spirit. You can buy these at Danish grocery stores in single serve packages like yogurt, and then you can have Christmas anytime.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get your hygge on! Whip up one of these holiday desserts and then brag about how culturally aware you are and that you’re a good decision-maker too. But don’t thank me, thank the Danes!