Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti {with King Arthur Flour}

If there’s anything Scandinavians like, it’s coffee.
And if there’s anything else they like, it’s any almond-flavored baked good. 
Really, any baked good in general, considering most traditional coffee parties have seven dessert options served. No need for seven different desserts, just give me seven of these biscotti!
I’m a good Swede at heart, and I take my coffee strong and black, sometimes with a bit of sugar. Or, in this case, a Cherry-Almond-White-Chocolate Biscotti with a lot of pearl sugar on top.
These are addictive. Oh yes, very, very addictive. One is not enough, so don’t even try to tell yourself it is. 
Nibble one of the broken bits for breakfast. Dunk one in your  mid-morning coffee. Have one for lunch-dessert. Take an early Fika (coffee time) break. Relax in the evening with a biscotti and a mug of hot tea and your favorite reality TV show (obviously, it’s Bachelor Monday!)
If anyone questions, just tell them it’s Swedish and Natalie told you to; I’m happy to be your excuse.
If you’re feeling generous, offer them a biscotti.
Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup white chocolate
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Beat butter and sugars together. Add the eggs, beating well. Stir in the almond extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Reserve one teaspoon of the dry mixture and sprinkle it over the cherries, chocolate chips, and almonds. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and then fold in the cherries, chips, and almonds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The dough will be sticky, but empty it onto the parchment and form it into a long rectangle (using plastic wrap to help form it without getting your hands sticky if necessary), about 16 inches x 4 inches. Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees F. When the baked loaf is cool, use a serrated knife to cut it into strips crosswise about 1″ wide. Then turn the pieces on their cut sides, and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes.
In a small bowl, microwave the remaining 1/4 cup white chocolate chips at 10-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Watch closely as white chocolate burns extra quickly, and you often need to stir it a bit to realize it is fully melted. Remove from microwave and stir in 2-3 drops of orange oil. Drizzle over cooled biscotti. Sprinkle with pearl sugar. 

New Nordic Ginger Chocolate Orange Brownies

This is the first of a few New Nordic recipes I’m creating in collaboration with King Arthur Flour. Brownies are all-American, but I’ve incorporated Scandinavian flavors of ginger, orange, and traditional Swedish pearl sugar. My friend who lives in Sweden says that these could also be baked in a round tin and called Kladdkaka, an unleavened chocolate cake with a gooey center. If you follow me on any social media platform (you totally should, I’m hysterical on Twitter and sappy on Facebook), you’ve seen me raving about these brownies. And discussing techniques for cleaning frosting off my keyboard. 
Uffda. These brownies. 
They are incredible.
They are rich, chocolatey, gooey but not underbaked, and they have a nice crunchy crust and firmer edges.
I honestly think they are the best brownies I’ve ever had, gluten-free or not. 
The frosting?
It tastes exactly like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
Good enough to eat by the spoonful, followed by a gulp of ice-cold milk.
I think it’s the next “Nutella.” 
As if Nutella would ever be “over.” But seriously.
The frosting recipe makes just enough extra for a few spoonfuls (I think of these things. Aren’t you glad we’re friends?).
If you didn’t watch the King Arthur Flour ingredients video, you might be thinking I’ve gone crazy and added giant crystals of kosher salt to my brownies. Fear not, it is actually Swedish Pearl Sugar! This texture switch really makes these brownies knock-out. The fudgy brownies, the whipped frosting, and the crunchy sugar. Orange, chocolate, ginger, and pearl sugar? A match made in New Nordic heaven.

New Nordic Brownies
{Ginger Chocolate Orange Brownies}

Fudgy Ginger Brownies

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (Dutch-process preferred)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Note: This is a unique technique, but don’t let it scare you off! It works, I promise! 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper a 9″x13″ pan. Beat the 4 eggs with the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and ground ginger. This will be a very thick concoction. Now, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Heat until thoroughly hot but not simmering, being careful not to scorch the mixture. Combine the two mixtures, adding only a little of the hot butter to the egg mixture at first to temper the eggs. Then stir in the rest of the mixture. Stir in the flour and fresh ginger until just combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Chocolate-Orange Frosting (by Good Girl Style)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Orange Oil from King Arthur Flour
2 Tbsp. milk
Swedish Pearl Sugar from King Arthur Flour
Beat the butter. Then sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and mix, scraping down sides frequently. Add the orange oil and the milk and beat until whipped. 
Cut and frost brownies when cool, and sprinkle with Swedish Pearl Sugar.
*Ingredients provided by King Arthur Flour. Thank you, KAF!

Swedish Sort of Day

It was a gorgeous day last week for a visit to an incredibly gorgeous place…the American-Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Last time I was there, years ago, it was simply (ha) the gorgeous mansion on Park Ave. that belonged to Swedish immigrants. This summer, they completed renovations that added an entirely new (modern) wing. Mom, Grandma, and I (sorry to the bro and sister-in-law for the salt in the wound here) ventured there on this gorgeous day.
This glass conservatory is just stunning. I adore it. 
And of course I wore my Swedish colors! 
Wondering how they still had so many pretty red roses in the courtyard…

The old meets the new. The mansion reflected in the new addition. 
 ASI just opened their Nordic Christmas exhibit, where each room of the mansion reflects the traditional decorations and stylings of a Nordic country at Christmas. I won’t bore you with the hundreds (literally) of photos I took, but let me just say: I’m crazy-inspired by my heritage, and I can’t wait to decorate in the traditional Nordic themes for Christmas this year.


Why yes, I did ride the mechanical dala horse. You know you would have too.
His name is Gustav. 
It costs a quarter. Totally worth it.
We had coffee in their new restaurant, Fika. Fika is the Swedish coffee break, filled with lots of coffee and LOTS of sweet things. We wanted to go at Fika time because we’ve gotten in the habit of breaking for Fika  at home.

Cardamom Cinnamon Roll with Swedish Pearl Sugar, anyone? 
When we were nearly finished, we ransacked the gift shop (no, just kidding. we didn’t do that; the bus tour group that was also there did that, ha!). But I did stock up on my favorite Swedish ribbons to use for my Nordic-themed Christmas, Swedish candy, and my favorite Swedish soap. And I looked ever-so-longingly at just about everything else, including the amazing array of Swedish baking and knitting books. Swoon. 
I’m so inspired! It is so much fun to be back in Minnesota with family and tradition everywhere I look.
Outfit~ Sunnies: local store, Necklace: Kohls, Blouse: Land’s End/thrifted, Sweater: American Eagle, Skirt: J. Crew, Tights: Missoni for Target, Boots: Forever21, Bangles: J.Crew and local store