When I think back to the first couple of times I came to Denmark back in 2011 to visit the viking boyfriend, who at that time technically seen wasn’t even my boyfriend yet, I guess, but that’s a different story… where was I? Ah yes, the first couple of times I was in Denmark, there was something I associated with Denmark more than anything else (more than the flags everywhere, even more than hotdogs!), and that was the unmistakeable, soft smell of cinnamon that tickles your nose every time you walk past a 7Eleven store. I should explain that we didn’t have them back then in Germany (don’t think they do now), and they are virtually at every street corner in Copenhagen. Seriously, it is impossible to walk through Copenhagen for more than 10 minutes and NOT see a 7Eleven. That’s particularly practical for when you’re out partying and desperately craving a hotdog for “natmad” at 3am, but again, different story.
To this day, walking past a 7Eleven and catching that sweet cinnamon smell, it feels like I just came here for the first time. Ah, nostalgia…
Kanelsnegle, or cinnamon rolls, are a very popular Danish bakery good or dessert. You can buy them everywhere. Even the supermarkets with their fresh baked goods sections have all sorts of them. I think the very first kanelsnegle I had was probably either from a 7Eleven or from the Netto store across the street from the boyfriend’s apartment at that time.
The classic version has a sweet icing on top, as in the picture above, but you can find varieties with chocolate as well (chocolate and cinnamon - what’s not to love?).
They are usually made with yeast dough - an English recipe can be found on this blog called My Danish Kitchen - as well as tons of butter, sugar and of course cinnamon.
So tonight, I was (a) craving something sweet for dessert and (b) wanting to bake something for my boyfriend to take to his grandma today when he goes to visit her in Jylland, but (c) feeling quite lazy, so instead of making a yeast dough myself, I resorted to buying pre-made puff pastry and making a batch of cute mini kanelsnegle.
Quick and easy kanelsnegle
1 package of puff pastry (pre-made and rolled up)
ca. 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
Roll out the pastry and spread with a thin layer of butter. Leave out about 2cm at a short end. Sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon evenly. Carefully roll up, put some water on the edge of the dough so it sticks together when the roll “closes”. Cut into approx. 1,5cm pieces and put on a baking sheet. Whisk up the egg with 1 tbsp water and brush over the tops of the snegle. Bake for about 15mins (or until golden brown) at 200°C. Take the snegle out of the oven and let them cool. For the glaze, mix about 4 tsp powdered sugar with about 1 tsp milk (be careful not to use too much milk, because the glaze should be nice and thick!) and brush generously over the snegle.
Did they turn out as beautiful as the ones in the pictures above? No, they did not. In fact, some came up quite weird during baking. But they are adorable and cute, and they are SO delicious!! I’m honestly considering eating them all by myself right here and right now, and pretending I forgot that I promised to bake something for tomorrow…
Bottom line, you should get yourself some kanelsnegle right now! Quickly, before the EU regulates them away - see here for one of the biggest news stories last fall. Or, even better, make your own cute mini snegle with the recipe above. Added bonus: you can put in as much cinnamon as you want PLUS your apartment will smell AMAZING.