Gott Nytt År! (Happy New Year) It's been a long while to get my computer off the ship and set up on my new desk. I can't seem to blog from iPads nor laptops something to do with google logins when you're sharing computers. No matter, I'm back and looking forward to 2016! And gosh I wish I had something a little more interesting than biscuits, but the Swedes have a real sweet tooth as I'm finding out. Add coffee than you're on the path to becoming Swedish.
So we live on Kungsholmen, one of several islands that comprise Stockholm. There are 11 bridges from the islet, in reality I probably really use 4 with some frequency. On Bergsgatan, my street, there is a cheese shop close to the top of the hill, my source for Ligurian olives or plump green ones from Sicily. Before the cheese shop on the left down a short block is the neighbourhood ice cream parlour Kungsholmens Glassfabrik, open year round, in summer there are queues out the door. I've seen emergency crew pile out of their vans for a scoop. Swedes are mad about the buns (the sweet ones) and Bulleboden, a bakery cum cafe off the Bergsgatan hill on my side makes the finest in Kungsholmen. At the end of the street is my greengrocer, think small bags of Swedish fruit e.g. pears, apples, plums for 10 kronor (a steal). Bypass the train station then you're at the church gates, on a Monday evening I'm here practising yoga to yogic chants in the serene surrounds of Lutheran theology.
On the other end of Bergsgatan lies the kids favourite park, Kronis. You have to pass the Courthouse with the enormous horse chestnut tree shredding it's bounty in the autumn. On the other side of the building is where the men practise boule, in the summer. Opposite the Courthouse is Il caffe with crazy good soundtracks, skip the coffee. To the left of Bergsgatan across 2 parallel streets is Lake Malaren, literally a five minute walk (without kids!). There is always someone pounding the pathway or pushing a stroller, in the summer it is teaming with pedestrian traffic. Continue on the path past restaurants you will arrive at a huge open recreation area equipped with parks, beach (by Swedish standards), boule bar, outdoor amphitheatre, bypass this and you're on a roundtrip of the island. A small detour at the start will lead to some fine croissants at Petite France, you won't need it but they are impossible to resist.
I've set up an instagram account on all things Swedish this first year, you can see the photo files here.
Chocolate Macadamia Butter Biscuits
Macadamia nuts can be expensive here in Sweden so you can use hazelnut butter instead. It's still delicious.
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
pinch of sea salt
125g macadamia nut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
50ml macadamia nut oil (or virgin coconut oil)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius/345 fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Whisk until combined the spelt flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the macadamia butter, maple syrup, macadamia nut oil and vanilla extract together. Add to the flour and mix until well combined. Leave for 5 minutes to firm up before dropping spoonfuls onto the baking tray. Leave enough space for the biscuits to expand. You may need 2 trays. Bake for about 11-13 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack.