anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘fika

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (with Apple Filling) to Celebrate Kanelbullens Dag

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Swedish cinnamon buns are so iconic that they get their very own day: October 4th. That’s right, today is the official Kanelbullens Dag. And you know what you should do to celebrate? Make a batch of cinnamon buns and invite a friend over for fika.

I don’t make kanelbullar very regularly, so when I do it’s a special affair. (Quick Swedish lesson: kanelbulle is singular, kanelbullar is plural.)

For the uninitiated, kanelbullar carry a lot of importance in Swedish food culture. It’s a staple of fika, and baking them at home is a special affair. Thinking about kanelbullar and my own connection to them makes me think of this passage from my friend Sara Bir’s book The Fruit Forager’s Companion:

“It would be wonderful to make and eat pie every day, but that is unrealistic for most of us… As it stands, I do not make pies for special occasions, but allow the pie itself to be the occasion. That way, if someone asks me how I am, I can simply say, ‘I ate piece today,’ and they know I am well.”

The way Sara feels about pie is how I feel about kanelbullar. You don’t need a special occasion to make them. Instead they turn an ordinary day into something much more exciting. Baking kanelbullar is an act of celebrating the everyday.

While I certainly enjoy the pure, unadulterated version, I often enjoy experimenting with different flours and fillings. My current favorite is to make them with whole wheat flour (I use hard white wheat from Bluebird Grain Farms) and let the dough rise overnight. I find that this slower rise makes for a slightly more interesting taste. To take full advantage of the fall season, these kanelbullar are filled with grated apple. You can certainly go classic and make it without that addition.

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Written by Anna Brones

October 4, 2018 at 08:45

Happy Birthday Fika!

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Three years ago today, Fika The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break came into the world. Over the last three years, it has been so much fun seeing all the places that this book ends up. I love hearing from readers when they bake a recipe or give the book as a gift to a friend. I think we could all use a little more fika in our lives, and I am happy to see so many of you doing exactly that.

In honor of Fika‘s third birthday, I am doing a special giveaway of signed copies of both Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break and my latest book, Live Lagom Balanced Living the Swedish Wayas well as an original fika-themed papercut (unframed).

This fika papercut was done as a sample for some new templates that I made for Paper Artist Collective (if you’re in the mood to try your hand at papercutting, you can snag them here) and I think it deserves a space on someone’s wall!

How to enter? All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll draw a random winner next Friday, April 13, 2018 so you have a week to get yourself signed up and entered.

Written by Anna Brones

April 7, 2018 at 04:00

Welcoming the Darkness

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It’s so easy to complain about the lack of light this time of year, particularly after we have set our clocks back and the afternoon succumbs to darkness even earlier. Yet with that darkness comes a beautiful quietness and stillness that’s hard to find at other times of year.

The Scandinavian way to enjoy this is to bring in lots of candlelight. I’ve been lighting candles both in the morning and the afternoon, a way to welcome the darkness instead of falling prey to it. In Finnish, “kaamos” is the world that refers to the time of year when the sun doesn’t even rise, yet there is still a magical lightness that covers the winter landscape. It doesn’t matter if you live in a place of pure winter darkness or not, candles and a pot of tea or a cup of coffee always help.

So in the coming weeks, invite a friend over and have fika by candlelight. (Here’s a recipe for sourdough cardamom buns, if you are in the mood for a little baking)

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A couple of Scandinavian classics featured in the papercut above: the Kivi candleholders from Iittala and a teapot and mug in the Unikko design from Marimekko. Kivi means “stone” in Finnish, and the candleholder is a gentle nod to the fact that so much of Scandinavian design is influenced by nature. The Marimekko Unniko design dates back all the way to 1964, when the company’s founder Armi Ratia declared that the company would never print a flower pattern again. Designer Maija Isola thought otherwise, and came up with this iconic poppy print that is still used today, over half a century later.

 

Written by Anna Brones

November 9, 2017 at 10:44

Kanelbullensdag – Swedish Cinnamon Bun Day

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In Sweden, the cinnamon bun gets its very own day: October 4th. Celebrate with a fika today!

I like making cinnamon buns (and more importantly, cardamom buns) with sourdough. Here’s a recipe for sourdough cardamom buns with pear and hazelnut filling to try out.

Or you can try the traditional recipe in my book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Check out #kanelbullensdag on Instagram for inspiration.

Written by Anna Brones

October 4, 2017 at 08:54

Delightful French and Scandinavian Fare at Måurice Luncheonette in Portland

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Maurice Black Pepper Cheesecake.Anna Brones

When I was recently in Portland I finally got the chance to eat at Måurice, and I was utterly charmed. So much so that I wrote about it over on Foodie Underground.

It’s a sweet space with French and Scandinavian influences, in both the decor and the food. I think I liked it so much because it felt so authentic; nothing was forced, it was all done simply out of love. And of course, everyone wears stripes and they serve fika, what’s not to love?

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Written by Anna Brones

June 9, 2015 at 08:27

How to Twist Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar)

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Freunde-von-Freunden-Marissa-Cox-Fika-8-930x620 (1)

When my friend Marissa asked if I might like to have a recipe from Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break featured on FvF, I immediately said yes. I like Marissa’s photography and since I rarely spend any time styling or photographing my own recipes I thought it would be fun to have someone come and do it for me. See, I am lazy in the kitchen!

Get a photographer in your (tiny) kitchen and you immediately realize how hard food photography and styling really is; I have a lot of respect for the people who make it look easy. But let’s be honest; there is nothing like someone doing the hard work for you. And it’s even better when you want to do a series of how-to photos. Instead of playing the awkward Tripod in the Kitchen with Self Timer Camera game, all you have to do is go through the steps and have the photographer shoot it for you. This is perfect for Swedish cinnamon and cardamom buns, which people often ask me how they should twist. Now I finally have a visual guide to share.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 2, 2015 at 12:50

Fika on Heritage Radio Network’s Eat Your Words (Listen to the Podcast)

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Fika on Heritage Radio Network

I was so excited to not only get to be a guest on a Heritage Radio Network show with Johanna recently, but also to check out their headquarters. Housed in a shipping container in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, Heritage Radio Network hosts a variety of great radio shows that are all about advancing food culture. If you don’t know them, be sure to check them out, the programming is pretty incredible.

Local beer at Roberta's Pizza

It also meant that we got to eat a pizza at Roberta’s right before recording the show, as the radio is housed in the back. A super cool restaurant with an oven in the corner and local craft beer served in mason jars. My kind of place. The Heritage Radio Network studio itself sits in a shipping container right behind the restaurant, so as you sit and chat you look out over the restaurant goers downing their pizzas.

Heritage Radio Network

Thanks to Cathy Erway, the host of Eat Your Words, who sat down with Johanna and I and talked all about fika.

You can listen to the full episode here.