fat tuesday

Happy Fettisdag

happyfettisdagFettisdag is today. The day of semlor. Try baking your own semlor so you have plenty to eat and read more about Fat Tuesday in Sweden! Check out the blog post when I first discovered this awesome holiday.


Baking Semlor for Fat Tuesday

SemlaWhat’s Fat Tuesday?

Its the day you eat semlor.

Why do you eat semlor?

Because it is Fat Tuesday!

Today is Fat Tuesday. Last Fat Tuesday I promised I would attempted at making some semlor.

Luckily I got a semlor recipe from a friend in Norrland. After you make them, you definitely won’t wonder why they make them for the day you are supposed to fatten up!

We got all of the ingredients together, and everything was relatively fine to find in the States.

Semlor IngredientsEverything except Baker’s Ammonia! We went to 3 stores, and nobody had even heard of it. You can purchase Baker’s Ammonia online, but we didn’t have time. Baking power is a great substitute.

Next we melted the butter and added the milk. Don’t heat it too hot, if it is you will kill the yeast when you add it. Just make sure it is luke warm. Butter and Milk Add the yeast to a bowl, and add a bit of the milk/butter mixture. Yeast mixture Then add the rest of the bun mixture. That is flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder (or baker’s ammonia), and salt. Ingredients mixedMix it well…

Mixed well

And knead… with a smile, cause you are making semlor! Knead with a smile After you knead it just a bit until it is smooth (I didn’t do it for too long), you let it sit under a towel for 30 minutes. It’ll look something like that. Remove it from the bowl, put it on a kneading board and knead it again. When smooth, break it up into hand size pieces.

semlor balls

Flatten out the ball and fold it over multiple times. According to my brother, this puts air into the dough, similar to the taffy making process.

Folding semlor

Through them on a baking pan (we sprayed it with PAM before). Cover with a towel and again leave for 30 minutes to rise.

Semlor rising

You can then preheat the over and make the mixture for inside.

Open up the can of almond extract (love getting pre-made stuff!). It will be really hard. No worries, just add some water (about 2 tsp) and throw it in the microwave covered. Heat on low for 3 minutes, and it because very soft.

Almond paste

Mix it with equal amounts of whip cream. We whipped the cream before, but it melted, and so now I’m wondering if that was what we were supposed to do. Oh well, turned out well!

Almond extract mixture

You can also whip some cream at this point for the top.

When the 30 minutes is up on the buns, throw them in the oven for 8 minutes.

Semlor in the oven


Once cooled, chopped of the top and save.

Cutting off the top

Then remove the middle. Eat or discard.

middle gone

Now is the fun part. Fill with the almond paste mixture…

Fill up the semla

Top with whipped cream…

Semla whipped cream

Put on the little hat…

Semlor hat

And add powdered sugar on top. You know, because it isn’t sugary enough as it is.

Finished semla

Yummy! Now I wish I had a picture of eating one. But I had to test out the first one, and ate it extremely quickly. It was so much sugar I just couldn’t take another bite! I definitely understand why these are for Fat Tuesday!

A year in Sweden

Wow, a year has come and gone so quickly! 2011 was my first full year in Sweden. And boy how much was learned and experienced!

As you may remember, in March I experienced the Northern lights for the first time. I’ve seen them since, and hope to see them much more!

In March I also experienced a Swedish Fat Tuesday along with semlor. Perhaps in 2012 I will attempt to make some semlor myself!

Last winter I also finished my first pair of Swedish socks – that is hand knitted wool socks! This year I knitted four different pairs for family gifts.

In the spring of 2011 I also learned how to ice fish, one of my now-favorite past times. I also made a great friend learning to ice fish.

My year in Sweden has also made me much greener. I love recycling and making fuel for garbage trucks!

Easter in Sweden was another experience in itself, with people taking as many days off of work as possible to stretch out the holiday. And of course salmon pie with lots and lots of mayonnaise.

May came along with bon fires, and the amazing childhood treat of Swedes, pinnbrod! A Finn told me I should add some sugar and cinnamon and try that with pinnbrod… next time!

During the summer I had the chance to travel around Sweden on my own. On the way down I visited a hidden clock museum on a Swedish farm. I ate smoked sik for the first time (so yummy!) and partied in Karlstad. Before going home I stopped by Karlstad’s water tower. I also asked myself the question. Where does Norrland start? And when do people start sucking in air for yes?

August back home I learned that yard sales come from Sweden (it is on the Internet so it much be true). And August we also found ourselves traveling again, this time to visit friends in Linkoping.

With our oh so slow winter start, I had tons of time in the long fall for mushroom picking in Sweden. With kilos of mushrooms, I will be set for life!

And in October again we did a little traveling to my second home, Prague, and brought some awesome Swedish food to share with friends. Mushrooms included.


All in all, it was a fabulous year in Sweden. I can only hope that 2012 brings just as much fun, adventure, and experiences with the Swedish culture.


Fat Tuesday and Semlor

Fat Tuesday surprised me. I had no idea it was a holiday. I heard a friend was baking some semlor, but I thought he was just in the mood for baking. I had never tried one, it sounded like another typical Swedish godis. But no! It was because it was Fat Tuesday!

At first I thought my Swede was joking. What, a day to get fat?

“Why are you celebrating it?”

“Because it is Fat Tuesday.”

“What is Fat Tuesday?”

“The day you eat semlor.”

“Why do you eat semlor?”

“Because it is Fat Tuesday!”

Arg! This conversation could have gone on and on. I gave up. I ate a semla. It was good.


Luckily a fellow Swedish Freak explained in her blog post what Fat Tuesday was all about. It is that Christian holiday before Ash Wednesday. You know, the one Mardi Gras falls on? So that is why Swedes eat semlor on Fat Tuesday. Some left over Christian tradition, and a perfect excuse to eat semlor. Ok!

For those of you who want to make your own semlor at home, I stole my friend’s semlor recipe! Enjoy!