First, what the fuck is ‘hygge’?
Defining the concept of ‘hygge’ is quite a crazy task. There is no one word in English that this Danish word can be equated to. I’ve heard it loosely translated as ‘cosiness’ before. But it’s so much more than that. It’s an atmosphere, a state of mind. *
Hygge is wearing warm home-knitted socks on a cold winter day.
Hygge is reading a book in your favourite comfy chair while you can hear it raining outside.
Hygge is candle light….and wine….and hanging out with friends.
Candle light is a big part of hygge. Don’t ask, it just is. I heard somewhere that each Dane goes through 7 kgs of candles a year. For those of you who don’t do metric, that’s 15.4lbs of candle per capita!! I mean what IS that?!? That’s like a candle fetish, is what it is.
But hey, according to lots of studies, Danes are the happiest people in the world. So they must be doing something right. Could it have something to do with hygge? Or the amount of candles they go through? Or is it their AMAZING cookies?
Personally, I think it’s the cookies.
The winters are long in Denmark, hygge is there to ward off the long dark nights. Instead of getting all depressed about it, and moping around, the Danes celebrate it by ramping up the hygge. They light candles, drink mulled wine (also called gløgg-that’s the sound it makes as you glug it down fyi) and sit by the fire.
Maybe the fire reminds them of being Vikings and burning villages to the ground…Who the hell knows. All I know is, they are survivors. And damn good at making pastries. (Advice: Don’t ever come between a Dane and his pastry. It will not end well.)
So Christmas is the biggest time of year for hygge. They eat cookies, and make home-made decorations to hang on the Christmas tree. On Christmas eve they light candles on the tree and dance around it, joining hands, and singing songs. That shit is ULTIMATE HYGGE.
So I did you guys a solid.
I found a Danish cookie recipe which encapsulates all of Christmas in one bite, and I veganized the shit out of it.
These cookies and small and round and are called ‘pebernødder’ (aka peppernuts). Just relax. They will not set your nuts on fire, like some crazy vengeful ex-girlfriend pouring hot sauce on your junk. They just have seasonal spices in them like cinnamon, and nice shit like that. So get a grip, and get your apron. We’re going in!
100 grams coconut oil (neutral taste, not coconut taste)
110 grams sugar
15 grams brown sugar (if you don’t have it, just add more regular sugar)
50 ml about (1/4 cup) of rice milk (or your favourite non-dairy milk)
250 grams flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/4 tsp baking powder.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius/ 392 degrees farenheit. Line your baking tray with parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients together first, then add the milk and coconut oil. Get your hands in there and mix it all up. It will start looking crumbly, keep kneading until it’s entirely combined. We don’t want any pockets of coconut oil lurking anywhere, like some creepy stalker. You might need an extra splash of milk if it’s dry, but only a small splash!
Once it’s a dough roll it into long sausages, and cut into small circles, and roll them into small balls. If the dough is too crumbly to roll into sausages you know you haven’t kneaded it long enough. Keep going.
Put the little balls on the tray and pop them in the oven for 10-12 minutes depending on how savage your oven is. If your oven is a Viking, it might only take 9-10 minutes, but if it’s inept and still trying to rub two sticks together, then it might need longer. BE VIGILANT! Don’t let the fuckers burn.
When they are a golden brown, whip them out and try not to eat any straight away. Or do it, and burn your mouth. Your call.
Each bite is like a bite of Christmas. Pure fucking hygge. If there’s one thing that the Danes are good at, other than bicycling and playing with Lego, it’s knowing how to hygge!
So to celebrate the art of hygging oneself, and Christmas, and making your own coziness at home, We’re hosting a competition where one lucky winner will receive their very own DIY Juletide-Hygge kit.
All you’ve got to do is write what hygge means to you in the comments section of this blog or on the Facebook page. Then type #Hygge #Naturesbutterbitch
Then myself, and my beautiful buddy at ‘Danish Hygge, Happiness and Positive Way of Life’ will decide which entry we like best. Then we will contact you to get your address so we can post you your hygge-surprise!
Please share this with your friends, Let’s really get some momentum going on this thing.
We pick the winner on Tuesday 13th December.
Happy Hygging!! 🙂
(The thing that inspired this competition was the Thug Kitchen Chocolate Dipped Tangerines. Those bastards know their shit.)
* So is Unagi. (All the FRIENDS fans will know.)