by Jerry Guarino
Every holiday season, Karina made her famous Kringla cookies, from a recipe dating back to her Norwegian ancestors. The soft, doughy treats made from buttermilk had a vanilla flavor that went perfect with hot chocolate or tea, especially after coming in from a snowy winter day.
Karina’s grandchildren were visiting this Christmas, filling their big house with laughter and lots of game times. Karina was making the Kringla cookies when her granddaughter Mary and Kelly joined her in the kitchen.
“Can we help Noni?”
“Of course, my sweethearts. Let me show you.”
So, Karina and her granddaughters mixed the ingredients and rolled out the dough mixture. She showed them how to cut it into long pieces, and then roll the pieces into the shape of logs, about a half inch in diameter.
“How do you make the shapes Noni?”
“Here. Once we have the long pieces, we take each end and twist it like a pretzel, see.”
“It does look like a pretzel.”
Karina let Mary and Kelly make some too. Soon, they had done a good job of forming a couple dozen cookies.
“Good work girls. Now we bake them for twenty minutes.”
Once they were done cooking, Karina took them out to share.
“You know, hot chocolate goes great with these. You girls want hot chocolate?”
Mary and Kelly agreed enthusiastically. “Yes please.”
Karina took out some cocoa powder and made the hot chocolate for the girls. They had a real family moment that Karina and the girls would remember for a long time.
“Now, it’s almost time for bed. You girls get your pajamas on so Santa can come visit tonight.”
Karina tucked them into the guest room bed, and then put the presents under the tree. After an hour, she was finished and tired, so she retired to her room.
But Mary and Kelly were too excited to sleep. They came downstairs, saw the presents and decided to make something for their favorite grandmother.
Being such smart children, they got out the recipe for Kringla and carefully mixed the ingredients. Kelly had an idea.
“What if we added some flavor to these?”
Mary looked around the kitchen. “What about some of this?”
“Oh, that would make them delicious and a special treat for Noni.”
After rolling out the dough, Mary started to create the pretzel shapes.
“I think we can do better. Let’s make a volcano shape, a cone.”
“That would look so cool.”
So, Mary and Kelly formed the soft dough into small cones, like volcanos, wide at the bottom and narrow at the top.
Into the oven they went and when they were done, the girls took them out and laid them on a tray, covering it with aluminum foil to keep them warm.
Karina woke up smelling the cookies and came downstairs.
“Girls, what have you been doing?”
“Noni, you sit here. We have a surprise for you.”
Kelly placed the tray in front of Karina, while Mary brought her a cup of tea.
“They smell so good. What did you make?”
Mary took the foil off the treats. There was a dozen perfectly formed Kringla cookies, little volcanoes of soft, doughy goodness.
“Oh my”, said their grandmother. “Chocolate Kringlas.”
About the author
Jerry Guarino’s short stories have been published by dozens of magazines in the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain. His latest book, "Café Stories: west coast stories", is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook. Please visit his website at http://cafestories.net
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