Semmla and Lent

Frosty weather for the start of lent

Mardi Gras looks a bit different in Sweden. It is much colder than Rio or New Orleans, but there is no bonhomme like in Quebec. They said goodbye to the Catholic church quite a while ago, but retain some (modified) traditions. Naturally, my favourite is semla, the seasonal pastry. A semla is a cardamom-flavoured yeast bun split open and filled with marzipan and whipping cream. A variation called ‘groda semla’ or frog semla (???) mixes the cream and marzipan together first, then fills the bun. Both are good!  Originally this was a way to get rid of some of the rich foods before lent started, kind of a last treat before the austere season before Easter.  However, people liked them so much and when an austere lent became less important, it was a tradition to eat a semla every Tuesday during lent.  Rock on!

All the delicious semlor in a bakery

I am not really one for yeast dough, so I experimented and made some semlakex (semla cookies) with cardamom dough and a pat of marzipan on top that caramelized in the oven.  No cream, but they are far more portable for bringing into work!


  1. mmmmmm i like the tuesday tradition! sounds like a good way to keep mardi plenty gras!
    mmm mmm!

  2. I also like the tuesday tradition of treats. Yesterday I made my better-tahn-wheat chocolate chip cookies (half the batch with pecans, because Ed is a purist), and I only wnat to gobble them up.

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