Poor mans cookies bake number 7

23rd December

Poor mans cookies

Today in Norway they call it Lille Jul Aften, literal translation would be Little Christmas Eve. Our ham is cooked and glazed, the turkey has made it into the house and the vegetable are in situ too. I can relax despite the fact there are still presents to wrap, the cake to ice and the sausage rolls to name but to name a few. But a few sips of an alcoholic beverage, music playing and family around it will all get done. I am excited even if this stinky cold seems to want to win the battle, I'm giving it a good fight and run for its money.

We bake the last of the seven cookies today and I confess that the dough needs to be made the day before you need it. These cookies today would be great to make in between Chrustmas and new year. They keep for only a week or so but really are absolutely best eaten warm when newly made.

Mormors Fattigmann (mothers mother poor man)

These are very traditional cookies and have been made for many generations within Norwegian families. Ideally you should shallow fry them in lard and as we only make them once a year I do. But if you cannot bring yourself to do this you could shallow fry in butter or vegetable oil but the taste will not be the same.

There are other cookies called Goro that require a beautiful mould to press the cookies into to produce an intricate pattern. These poor mans cookies are based on that but do not require the specialist equipment, possible this is how they found their name.

You will need:
100ml double cream
5 egg yolks
75g sugar
1 tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 egg white, whisked to stiff peaks
500g plain flour
For shallow frying: 500g lard

1. Whisk the double cream till it holds it's shape.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar to firm a thick consistency.
3. Carefully mix the cream, yolk mixture and brandy.
4. Add the spices to 3/4 of the flour and very carefully add this to the whisked egg white being careful not to loose all the air.
5. Mix the two mixtures together and firm a dough. Cover in cling film and refridgerate until the next day.
6. Roll the dough out with the remainder if the flour sprinkled on the work top. Roll the dough out quite thinly. If you have a crinkle cut pastry roller use this to cut out the cookies. I have mislaid mine(!) do I just used a knife instead. Cut London thin strips about 3cm in width and then cut on a diagonal angle to produce a diamond shape cookie. Cut a slit in the middle too. See photographs, hopefully for clarification if needed.

Cut into diamond shapes and add a slit

7. Once the lard has melted place the dough in and cook for between one to two minutes. Let then turn a golden colour, not too brown. They cook quickly.

Shallow fry in lard for best results

Cook till golden (light) brown

8. Place the cooked cookies on kitchen paper to allow the lard to run off. 

Dry on kitchen paper to soak excess fat

9. Once cooled sprinkle on vanilla icing sugar and eat immediately. 

Sprinkle with vanilla icing sugar

❤️  We have now made all 7 traditional cookies for a Norwegian Christmas.  ❤️


  1. These sound interesting, and tasty! I've enough cakes and biscuits to do us for now though, maybe I'll try them another time - I do actually have som elard in the fridge (bought for pie pastry) so who knows... I hope you're having a lovely Christmas.

    1. Ooh yes good way to use up the lard. Do give them a try and let me know how you get on. Happy new year to you x


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