April 2, 2016
A large Scandinavian population made its home in central Minnesota many years ago. With them, they brought their love for coffee drinking. The Minnesota Historical Society even wrote an article about how they often belonged to coffee clubs. During their meetings, they even had synchronous coffee drinking. Not being a coffee drinker myself, I found that just a little odd.
To bring out a little bit of our home culture, I had the boys make Swedish Rusks. This is best described as a hard, lightly sweetened biscuit that is dunked in coffee. Because they had never experienced this before, I left them to explore on their own. I came home to a story of how the dough hung down, stuck on their hands, swinging over the countertop. They both sampled the dough before it was cooked and had high hopes. They were puzzled sampling the finished product, as it was dry and stiff at that point. They didn’t know to call it a cookie or a bread. They weren’t so sure if they liked it anymore.
I decided to demonstrate how the rusk was supposed to be eaten. To be more kid-friendly, I warmed up my friend’s homemade apple cider. I dunked one end of the rusk into the flavorful drink then took a bite. The boys watched and tried it as well. They concluded it was acceptable, but not did not stand a chance compared to a chocolate chip cookie.
I look forward to seeing and experiencing the different cultures around the United States. But in the meantime, we can still have fun in our own “backyard” of Minnesota.
Until we meet again,
p.s. Here is the Swedish Rusk Recipe, taken from Finn Creek Museum Cookbook
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup oil
2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup sugar, add gradually
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3-1/2 cups flour
Mix in order given. Shape into 2 rolls, length of jellyroll pan, lightly greased. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Slice immediately into 1-inch slices. Turn on sides. Bake for 45 minutes at 250 degrees.