Karoline Jönsson shares three Swedish family-friendly recipes to try from her new book Happy Vegan Christmas
Try these three vegan Christmas recipes with your family this feative season…
Pepparkakor / ginger snaps
Makes about 50
This recipe I found in my grandmother’s little yellowing recipe collection from the 1930s and 40s, but in her recipe the batch was double the size and not as spicy. For a family celebration like Christmas, I think it’s particularly fun to use old family recipes because in a way grandmother Greta, who passed away in the 1960s, is then still present. In the same way, great-grandmother Hilda’s old linen cloth with the initials HP, since she kept her maiden name Pålsson, now gets the honourable task to act as a proving cloth for the Christmas breads and buns.
200g/7oz/1 cup brown sugar
3½ tbsp golden syrup (light corn syrup)
1 tbsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground bitter orange peel
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tbsp ground cloves
½ tsp cognac (optional)
125g/4½oz/½ cup plus 1 tbsp dairy-free spread
450g/1lb/scant 3½ cups plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tbsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 Put the sugar, syrup and 5 tablespoons water in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the spices and cognac, if using.
2 Pour the hot liquid over the spread in a mixing bowl and stir until it has melted, then leave to cool.
3 Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and beat with a wooden spoon into a smooth dough. Leave the dough to rest in a cool place until the next day.
4 Preheat the oven to 225°C/425°F/Gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
5 Cut the dough in half and roll out each half thinly on a lightly floured work surface.
6 Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and move to the lined baking sheet using a dough scraper or spatula.
7 Bake in the middle of the oven for 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Place on a wire rack to cool before icing, if you like.
Crushed potatoes with chilli and saffron aioli
Crushed is probably my absolute favourite way to serve potatoes; they come out great every time, they are simple to prepare without fuss and, after roasting, they become both crisp and soft at the same time. Here, they are served with a chilli and saffron aioli.
10 potatoes (you want a variety that is suitable for roasting), about 1kg/2lb 4oz total weight, skin on, scrubbed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra to garnish (optional)
Salt and black pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled
100–150ml/3½–5fl oz/ generous 1⁄3 – 2⁄3 cup rapeseed (canola) oil
5 tbsp unsweetened soya milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 pinch saffron, or to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sriracha or other hot chilli sauce
1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
2 Put the potatoes on a chopping board and half-crush them one at a time, using a pestle. They should be still intact at the base so don’t crush them completely. Place the potatoes in an ovenproof dish, drizzle the olive oil over and top with a sprinkle of rosemary. Add the garlic for the aioli to the dish at the same time.
3 Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until the potatoes have a crisp crust and are tender inside.
4 Season with salt and pepper.
5 Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and place in a blender jug with the rest of the aioli ingredients.
6 Blend with a stick blender until a thick and creamy sauce that resembles mayonnaise.
7 Season to taste with salt.
8 Garnish the potatoes with a little fresh rosemary, if you like, and serve with the aioli.
Saffransbröd / saffron bread
Saffron bread, more specifically Lucia buns, are traditionally eaten on December 13th when Swedes celebrate the festival of St. Lucia.
250ml/9fl oz/generous 1 cup oat milk, plus extra for brushing
100ml/3½fl oz/generous 1⁄3 cup rapeseed (canola) oil
1 tsp cardamom seeds (can be omitted if you’re making saffron buns without a filling)
1 pinch saffron
90g/3 1⁄4oz/scant ½ cup granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
35g/1 1⁄4oz fresh yeast (or about 17g/2⁄3oz dried)
550g/1lb 4oz/4 1⁄4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
1 pinch salt
Raisins and pearl (nibbed) sugar (optional)
1 apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
100g/3½oz/3⁄4 cup almonds
5 tbsp coconut oil
70g/2½oz/ 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
50–100g/1 3⁄4–3½oz/ 1⁄3 – 3⁄4 cup raisins
1 Heat the oat milk and oil to 37°C/98°F in a large pan.
2 Using a pestle and mortar, crush the cardamom seeds and saffron with a little of the sugar.
3 Crumble the yeast into the liquid, add the spices and sugar and stir until the yeast has dissolved.
4 Add the flour and salt and work into a dough.
5 Leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place or until doubled in size.
6 To make the filling, if using, blend together all the ingredients, except the raisins, in a food processor to make a coarse paste. Stir the raisins into the mixture.
Stars (makes 2)
1 Divide the risen dough into 6 evensized pieces.
2 Roll each piece into a ball and then roll out three of the balls into even-sized rounds.
3 Spread the filling onto one of the rounds, place another round on top.
4 Repeat with the filling and place a third round on top and even out the edges with your hands or a knife.
5 Mark the middle using a glass, pressing it down halfway.
6 Using a knife, make eight even cuts from the central circle. In the middle of each section, make a long cut.
7 Take the end of the section and thread it through the cut from below, repeat once so that the dough is looped through twice.
8 Using a knife, make eight even cuts from the central circle. In the middle of each section, make a long cut.
9 Repeat with the remaining sections.
10 Place the star on a tray lined with baking parchment to prove/ bake (see below).
11 Repeat to make a second star.
HAPPY VEGAN CHRISTMAS