All posts tagged: danish happiness

Live, Laugh, Love – Truths of Happiness from Children

Sometimes the deep truths of life are pretty simple and cliché like, yet we often forget them. I was having a stressed out day trying to be five steps, or actually months, ahead of myself when a displaced coloring book with the title “Just Breathe” suddenly popped up on the children’s book shelves in Walmart.   When my daughter came home from a long day in kindergarten I let her choose a couple of pages to color and out of all the life wisdom quotes this is what she picked out: There you go. It is that simple. That got me thinking about how good children are at making themselves happy when we give them the chance. If we give children time and freedom to do what they want (within reasonable and safe limits of course;) they will just go out and have fun and be happy. For adults it can be so much more complicated to find happiness even in our free time. There are always so much on our to-do-lists and things we should …

Realization upon Returning from Denmark

  Just returned from Denmark and I wish I could have brought back all the people and places I love there, the beautiful design and local foods. But upon recovering from travel fatigue I realize that I am bringing home something far more important… a realization you can call it. That every place has its qualities and weaknesses and that being in Denmark is no guarantee for happiness. In fact, I feel happy to see my home in America again, my friends and my town that welcomes me back. Maybe the most important thing I am bringing home is this realization that the perfect country does not exist anywhere. Happiness is more of an attitude to life. An appreciation of what we have and a letting go of the yearning for what we do not have. This is something the Danes, generally speaking, are pretty good at. Taking time to enjoy things and people they love. Doing something joyful and relaxing is important to people of all kinds and ages. It clears our minds, we …

Weekend Cake: Brunsviger from Fyn

My husband’s absolute favorite cake is a Danish cake called “Brunsviger” originating from the small southern Danish island Fyn (Funen) where Hans Christian Andersen is from. I have no idea how to translate this name into English. It is a yeast bread with a caramelized brown sugar topping. You can find it in most Danish bakeries but there is a big difference between the Copenhagen version and the one from Fyn. Actually, it was not until my husband took me to Fyn where his family is from that I discovered how good brunsviger can be. Of course brunsviger is also delicious in Copenhagen but the version from Fyn tops everything. In Copenhagen the brown sugar topping is thick and sugary whereas on Fyn it is like a sirup-caramel topping. Apparently, it is so unique to Fyn that my husband told me to think of the rolling hills of Fyn when I shaped the cake. As you can hear he is very passionate about this cake and Fyn. This southern Danish island sure is beautiful with …

Dream Cake from Brovst

Dream Cake from Brovst is such a classic from my childhood in Denmark. Originally invented by the Danish woman, Jytte Andersen, who took part in a baking competition in 1960 in the Danish town Brovst, Jutland (See Droemmekage on Wikipedia). This woman would be a millionaire if she had got the copyrights for the recipe because it is a favorite everywhere in Denmark. So much so that it was voted the fourth most popular cake in Denmark in a cake research/questionnaire conducted by the newspaper Metroexpress. I have already received feedback from enough Americas to know that this cake will become a classic over here as well. It is similar to a pound cake – heavy and moist with lots of eggs and butter. But it is the topping with coconut and brown sugar that makes it. It is pretty simple to make and will be a hit at any social get-together.   Droemmekage fra Brovst / Dream Cake from Brovst Recipe Ingredients: 250 gram / 9 ounces all-purpose flour 3 tsp baking powder 50 gram …

Hindbaersnitter / Raspberry Slices of Happiness

Summer and heat is here and hygge has moved outside. Outdoor summer hygge makes me crave the Danish pastry called “Hindbærsnitter” or “Raspberry Slices”. In fact, I cannot think of a happier cake than a Hindbærsnitte (except for maybe a cupcake or birthday cake). Just take a look at it! A real slice of happiness… Raspberries on a flaky crust glazed with sugar to give you that happy kick. And kids seem to go crazy for them – just cut the slices into halves for small children so the sugar doesn’t make them go truly crazy! Hindbærsnitter have a lot in common with Pop Tarts but are not quite the same. You can find Hindbærsnitter in every Danish bakery. It is a true Danish classic. Good news is that you do not have to travel all the way to Denmark to bring them to your coffee table – they are actually pretty easy to make! So here you go – a recipe on how to make your own slices of happiness:-) Hindbærsnitter / Raspberry Slices Recipe Ingredients: …

The Essence of Hygge

I have been trying to come up with a definition of the “essence of hygge” or the “basics of hygge” and I think my conclusion is that the essence of hygge is taking your time to enjoy something. Or in other words, hygge means no stressing or rushing. Even coffee and cake is no guarantee for hygge if you don’t take your time to enjoy it. Imagine indulging in a nice sweet and sticky piece of cake with a cup of hot brew and then suddenly you discover that you have to leave the house in two minutes? Gone is all the hygge in a flash of a second! Almost anything can be hygge as long as you do not stress or rush through it. That is why I think the most important factor for hygge is the absence of stress or rush. You have to allow yourself to take your time in order to get that hygge feeling. Hygge does not have to include wool socks, hot chocolate, cake or a lamb skin throw …

Friday Cake: Coconut Lime Macaroons

This week’s Friday Cake is ideal for Spring or Summer hygge outside on the porch or in your backyard. It is a fresh take on the classic Danish “Coconut Tops”/”Kokostoppe” with lime added to them. I used an adapted version of Mette Blomsterberg’s recipe (see link here: Kokostoppe med lime og marcipan) and a recipe on Soendag.dk (see recipe here: Kokostoppe klassisk opskrift). You can see my English version below. Lime and coconut really works well together but more importantly, these Coconut Lime Tops are ridiculously easy to make. Mix five ingredients together, form as tops, bake and dip in chocolate. That’s it. I think this will work quite well for me on those hot and humid Maryland Summer days that are here before we know it. Once again, my Friday Cake did not come out as perfect as I had seen on pictures but as my husband said: “Brown is where the flavour is”. And he was right – the flat ring of melted, caramelized sugar and coconut that formed around the tops was the tastiest …