For the past few days I've been traipsing across this bridge to explore the historic side of Kongsberg. Yesterday I saw the sun for the first time as it was setting over the old town, just after 2pm, with the beautiful church tower lit up on the right. And as surely as dark follows day, I ended up once more at sweet and cozy Cafe Lotte.
When I ordered my favorite cookie - the Brune Pinner - I mentioned how much I liked it and how I was going to search for a recipe when I got home. To my surprise (and joy!) the young woman behind the counter (Randi, I learned) offered to give me their own recipe - which she herself makes for the cafe.
She brought back an old and well-used notebook of over 100 pages. Each page was hand-numbered and contained the handwritten directions for the favorite recipes of the restaurant owner. Randi told me that every cook in their kitchen (and every cook she knows) keeps a hand-written notebook like this, that they rarely share. Do cooks everywhere do this?
Randi wrote out a translated version of Brune Pinner for me, explaining some of the ingredients and how to roll the dough and cut it into strips. And then I got to ask 1000 questions about living and cooking in Norway.
One of the main things I was curious about was the seven kinds of cookies mother is supposed to make this time of year. She said that in this part of Norway they make: Krumkaker, Goro, Sirupssnipper, Fattigman, Pepperkaker, Brune Pinner, and Kransekake. So, in case you are hungry for some Brune Pinner, here's what Randi wrote.
Brune Pinner (Brown Sticks)
300 grams butter (softened)
300 grams sugar
2 yolks of eggs
1.5 tablespoons syrup (I think this is dark corn syrup)
3 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons vanilla sugar (not sure if this is just vanilla or not)
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
375 grams flour
Plus, egg whites for brushing on top and chopped almonds for sprinkling.
Mix together soft butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and syrup. Beat well. Add baking soda vanilla, cinnamon, and flour. (Chill, perhaps?) Roll thin (she showed with her hands a rectangle about 18" long by 12" wide). Cut into strips 2.5 centimeters wide (she said they would "melt" in the oven - I think they spread out). After it has been in the oven a few minutes, brush with egg whites and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 200C about 10 minutes - until lightly browned around the edges. These are crisp, but also chewy.