By Robyn Wagner
Bismarck, North Dakota
Kringle has been on the table every Christmas morning as far back as I can remember. It never failed, every Christmas when we seven kids sneaked up the stairs to peek under the tree, the first things we saw were apple, date, and pecan flavored kringles all sitting on the table. They were almost too pretty to cut into, with their white layer of frosting, a dusting of chopped walnuts and the crowning glory – several bright-red maraschino cherry halves scattered over the top. For a minute or two, we forgot about what we were really looking for and had a piece of each one!
It was just a few days ago I called my mom and asked her the story of kringle, where she had gotten the recipe and why it had become a Christmas tradition. She said she and her classmates were given this recipe from their home economics teacher at Christmastime in the early 1950s. The teacher’s recipe was loaded with cherries, and Mom, not liking cherries, could hardly eat it. So when the recipe went home from school, her mom baked one substituting apples in place of the cherries, and everyone just loved it. It went over so well that Grandma made it for Christmas that year and every year after. When Mom got married, she carried on the tradition in her home, and I followed in her footsteps and made it for Christmas morning for my family. It just wouldn't be Christmas without kringle!
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
11/2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup soft shortening
1/2 cup scalded milk
1 egg yolk
¼ cup warm water
1 package yeast
Mix first four ingredients well.
Scald milk, cool slightly, then add egg yolk.
Add yeast to warm water and let grow. Add yeast to milk mixture.
Stir into flour mixture. Refrigerate for two hours and up to two days. Shape into rolls then set in a warm place to rise for 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1 ½ cup apples (can substitute with dates, if you wish)
½ cup nuts
½ cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons flour
Roll each ball of dough into a long, thin strip (about 5 inches by a foot). Put filling across the middle of the dough.
Fold the dough over across the filling and also the other side so the filling is inside the dough. Fold the ends in and press them together. Lift into a greased pie pan making a circle. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Frost with white icing, sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts, and top with halved maraschino cherries along the length of the kringle.