I’m still trying to get the hang of the Norwegian language, and from time to time a misunderstood word or phrase bites me in the ass, especially when it comes to cooking. Oops.
So for my next Norwegian Christmas cookie, Yngve wanted me to make “potetmelstopper,” which he says means something along the lines of potato flour “tops” or something like that. They are interesting little cookies I had never baked before- and I baked them when he wasn’t here, so my question about one particular ingredient went unasked.
Basically, these things contain nothing more than butter, potetmel (potato starch) sugar, an egg and a little bit of regular flour. Few ingredients means easy and Jessica can’t screw it up, right? (not exactly. See my coconut macaroon disaster.)
Here is where I went (sort of) wrong. I took the recipe from here– the recipe reads as follows:
250 gr margarine (but I used regular butter)
250 gr (farin) sugar
500 gr potato starch
125 gr white flour
5 ts vanilla sugar
The translation difficulty came with the “farin” sugar. I had no clue what that was. I always thought sugar was “sukker.” So I went digging through my baking stuff to see if any of the packages had something that said “farin” on it- the regular white sugar didn’t- it just said “fin sukker.” But then I picked up a package of Norwegian brown sugar and THAT said “brun farin” on it. “AHA” thought I, “certainly this is farin.” No. It wasn’t. Apparently, farin is just another word for sugar, probably a little old fashioned and not used much anymore. *sigh*
I should have known better, because the directions begin with “beat butter and sugar white” AND the picture on that blog of the potetmelstopper shows them as being white in color. I should have just gone with my gut on this one.
All is not lost. Yngve tasted them and said that they are good, just that the brown sugar imparts a slightly different flavor than the white would. He thinks I should make them again with white sugar if I plan on giving them away on Christmas. I think he just wants to have all the brown sugar ones to eat himself.
They are tasty.
They are a weird little cookie- they are dry and crumbly, but when you bite into the cookie, it just melts in your mouth. I think its the potato starch that gives it such an interesting texture. If you can’t find potato starch, you might be able to use corn starch instead, but don’t hold me to that because I have no clue if it would work.
If you’re going to make them, this is how to do it:
Combine the potato starch and white flour in a bowl. (and the vanilla sugar if you’re using it) Beat the (white) sugar and the butter until white and fluffy. Beat in your egg, (and I added about a teaspoon of vanilla at this point since I was out of vanilla sugar) then mix in the dry ingredients.
I scooped up tablespoonfuls of the dough, rolled them into balls and placed them on a baking sheet. These don’t spread a whole lot, but they do spread a little, so don’t place them too close to each other.