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Originally published in 1945, this cookbook has sold over 3.4 million copies in Sweden, according to the publisher, and is now available in the U.S. for the first time. In a country that celebrates most special occasions with a coffee klatch that includes seven different kinds of cookies, this guide has served as a culinary bible. With more than 300 recipes — many of which have been culled from bake-off contest winners—the book is divided into categories like Sweet Breads, Rolls, Rusks and Cakes. Among the popular treats are the buttery wreath and pretzel-shaped cookies familiar to collectors of cookie tins; several variations on Danish pastry; puffy, raisin-studded saffron buns eaten around Christmas time; and Prinsesstärta, an elaborate sponge, preserves, marzipan and cream confection typically found at the coffee klatch. Also included are several gluten-free, egg-free and sugar-free sweets. Though the recipes themselves are short on direction, tips for using the proper equipment and ingredients, and strategies for achieving the desired look and textures, are interspersed throughout. As many American readers have tried Swedish cuisine only at their local Ikea store, this cookbook provides a window to a celebratory culture and its many intriguing flavors. (Apr.)
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