As many readers of my blog know, I lived in Norway for a time. I don’t read many blogs where Norwegian culinary achievements are discussed, but I think that is kind of sad, because Norwegian food is very good, and quite varied. There is of course a lot of seafood and a meal wouldn’t be a meal without potatoes. But there are also a lot of lovely fresh tasting meals, and I usually cook up something with Scandinavian flair for Midsummer.
Of course, one of the shining glories of Norwegian fare are the baked goods.
Skoleboller is one of those pastries that you can get at any bakery in Norway – even the grocery store, convenience stores, train and ferry kiosks and of course coffee shops. The name literally means “School Buns” and are a very popular snack for school children, but because of its portability you often take them cross country skiing or on hikes. Sometimes you will just enjoy them with coffee. I ate them a lot when I lived in Norway because I am a huge sucker for custard and coconut, which are the flavors that go into these buns. Oh yeah, and cardamom, which is one of my all time favorite spices – and cardamom is a favorite spice among Norwegian baked goods. Basically Skoleboller are cardamom infused sweet buns (sort of like a Danish, but not exactly) and filled with vanilla custard, topped with coconut and a confectioner’s sugar glaze.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed Skoleboller very often when I lived in Norway, 15 years later, I had almost forgotten about them, that is until I came across the blog Transplanted Baker. *note* Unfortunately, since I wrote this post, Siri’s blog was mistakenly removed from the net She is currently working on a new site that will be up soon!
Now Transplanted Baker is written by Siri who is a native of Minnesota, but lives in Norway with her Norwegian husband and children who cooks up Norwegian favorites as well as developing some of her own original baked goods. This is an awesome blog and I love reading it because it makes me very nostalgic, even though she lives in a different part of Norway than I did, and here are two official forms of written Norwegian…and writes in Nynorsk on her blog, a different official written language than the one I learned when I lived there.
So onto the Skoleboller. I decided to take a Saturday and make these buns. There are several steps, but please do not let that discourage you – they are all fairly easy to accomplish and believe me, these buns are well worth it. I made the dough for the buns first and while it was rising I made the custard.
Here is a note on the custard. I am kind of an egg freak – I eat a lot of eggs, and because of this it is important to me that they are of good quality. This means that the hens live a life a hen should live. I am not going to get into it more than that, but the quality of these eggs are clear. I mean look at the color of the yolks here, beautiful, sunny, deep yellow – and the taste is far superior to your run of the mill (quite literally) eggs. So if you are going to make a dish where the cornerstone is eggs, you might as well use the best available to make your dish all the better tasting.
Anyway, back to Skoleboller. Siri had good advice, she said you can make 12 regular sized Skoleboller or 24 smaller, weight watchers sized buns. So I decided to make the latter. I followed her recipe exactly, except that I embellished a little.
Instead of using a confectioner’s sugar glaze, I decided to use some of the creamed honeys that I had from Honey Ridge Farms.
I also added some nutella (as well as the custard) to a few, and on some I placed a fresh blackberry in the center before popping them in the oven to bake. All varieties turned out really good and by making 24, I had enough to eat, freeze and give out. So I would suggest making them that way – plus less guilt!
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