I had the honor of making them with my Aunt Barbara recently, our family’s Christmas Eve host and the most common krumkake baker. She was making krumkake for my cousin’s bridal shower. The night before the shower, we burned our fingers to great results. This reminded me of the ladies in a San Francisco Chinatown fortune cookie factory. The cookies came down the line and they quickly folded them while hot. One lady smiled and handed me a cookie, still too hot to eat. That was the beginning of my affinity for fortunes.
It turns out that Norwegian baking is featured in the Iowa State Fair 4-H tent. They had a number of Kransekake cakes, which are addictive towers of chewy almond cake. The rings are baked in special molds, then assembled after cooling. White frosting is used to add decoration, sometimes candied fruit or small Norwegian flags. Kransekake cake is the traditional wedding cake in Norway, but can be served at a graduation, birthday, or holiday. Our family serves this cake at Christmas, as well as at weddings. Should you be inclined to try Norwegian sweets, I recommend these two baked goods. The iron for the cookies and the molds for the cake tower are sometimes hard to come by, but you can make the cake by rolling out rings by hand. In this manner, the tower cake can also be made in its dismantled form – in single serving sized rings.