Beyond the Pale

I’m not even sure what that means … the headline, that is! Pale what? That was yesterday’s writing prompt from WordPress.

When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?

I can’t think of anything I’ve done that was so new, but one time, each year, I do something out of my element. I bake! Little cookies, for Christmas. Vanilla Horns, they’re called, in a straight translation from Swedish.

vanljhornThe first time must have been Christmas of 2004. That was also when I came to the realisation that I couldn’t find “vanilla sugar” here. I don’t think it exists in North America. If anyone knows differently, please enlighten me!

I might have skipped that year, but the following year, I’d met a fellow Swede who had recently been home and bought a few packages and gave one to me. You don’t need all that much of it, so that lasted for some time. 2011 I went to Sweden, myself, and made sure to buy a few. It’s just some, very fine, sugar with vanilla already in it! It’s very convenient.

Anyway, each time I’m in the process of making them, I ask myself «WHY???!!». It’s kind of difficult [for me] to make the dough hold together, but afterwards I’m just as pleased every time! 🙂

3 cups flour
1 lb butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
powdered sugar, for dusting

  • Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla.  Add the flour slowly until you can shape the dough with your hands. You may find it necessary to add a little more flour. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  • Shape approximately 1 1/2 – 2 T dough into crescent moon shapes. Bake at 350 degrees on ungreased baking sheets for about 15 minutes, until light tan. Remove from oven, cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar to coat.

I will make them again!


PS: I checked out “beyond the pale»

50 Replies to “Beyond the Pale”

  1. I’ve made my own vanilla sugar. You just open some vanilla pods and put them with the sugar in a jar. Keep it for a month or two before you use it. Later on you can just refill the jar with sugar and new vanilla pods when necessary.

  2. To carry on where The Cardinal left off… Vanilla sugar can be made by throwing your “empty” vanilla pods – once you’ve scraped the contents into your custard or whatever – into a small, sealed container of plain, ordinary white sugar… (The ultimate in up cycling; )

    1. Great! Now I know! 🙂
      I use this once a year, so I guess I just never bothered to find an alternate solution then … especially since that Swedish woman had already bought a bunch!

  3. I’ve never baked them myself! But I know they are yummy!

    Correct me if I am wrong… but I do not think you have “pärlsocker” over there as well? Pärlsocker is a must in our home when I bake! 🙂

      1. Aww you don’t have to check that Reb! I were just curious! 🙂

        I am not a big baker! LOL But I need to bake stuff for son as I it is hard to find things in the stores for him…

          1. Pärlsocker is like little diamonds of sugar.. I use it for topping! And roll his chocolate balls in that instead of coconut…

            Also use it for topping on cinnamon buns

            1. ROFL I was mixed up, and replied to your comment from the bar … not the actual post, so I didn’t see what I replied to!!! Gawd… Of course I know pärlsocker! It was the vanilla beans, that Susan talked about that I didn’t know what it was 🙂

                1. Heh Just typed ‘decorative sugar’ in Google Images, just to see … saw two photos with ‘pärlsocker’. One was a Swedish blog. The other one was in NYC. She had scoured all of Manhattan but finally found it in some special bakery shop!

                  1. Cool! I think it is something Swedish maybe? But then again, I just found it with a german text, then it is called ” Hagel zucker” which actually FITS really good as it looks like Hagel! LOL

                    Learn something new every day… 😀 Well now I am off to bed. Night night!

  4. Like so many things; just too simple, eh? (Learned this trick from Chef Michael Smith: )
    I spent a very long time trying to find the directions for making Fetucini Alfredo… When I finally found it written out, I literally did laugh out loud: )

      1. Not so terribly different from your Swedish ButterHorns, now that I see the recipe (except for the vanilla, of course; )
        They’re beautiful cookies too, btw: )

        1. If this weather continues, it might even be tomorrow.

          In many of the recipes I found, while searching for English, they seem to put almonds in them here. That could be good..

  5. Historical. You may need to check what I say as I haven’t! Dates back to Ireland and – I think – Henry VIII, athough may be wrong there. The pale was a boundary of sorts, maybe a fence? and to go beyond it was to go beyond the limits, hence beyond the pale meaning to do something unconventional or out of the norm.

    My mother also baked something called Cream Horns and stuffed them with whipped cream. Just yum. I don’t know there was any vanilla in though, and they were straight. Made from puff pastry I think. They were VERY VERY good 😀

  6. I was reading you can use vanilla sugar in all your recipes calling for sugar. Even drinks like tea. It looks like something fun to make. Can you eaaily find vanilla beans? I don’t think it is in our regular grocery store.

    1. Yeah, and i think many people do that … in buns ‘n stuff.

      No idea about vanilla beans. Isn’t vanilla some long thing in a glass tube?! Or is that something else…

      1. Yes, the vanilla bean is in the spice section usually but they are generally expensive. They run around a dollar or more a piece and I have never seen anywhere they have them in bulk. I saw online they were over 8$ a jar.

          1. I never bought them but have always wanted to. You can scrape the insides out and use the vanilla in recipes or you can put insides and the bean itself in liquor and make your own vanilla or make your own vanilla sugar. There are recipes online for the vanilla bean. I think the flavor is just a much stronger vanilla flavor. Sometimes I use vanilla in my smoothies and I don’t really need a sweetener.

  7. LOL I have totally missed the point of your post..I saw the picture of the cookies & started drooling….great I have become a ‘Human’ Pavlov Dog…..rofwl!!!
    I haven’t gone ‘beyond the pale’ in so long I forget what that feeling is like….
    Now I have this song running thru my head:

    Do you remember this song?? it was always one of my faves from *back in the day*…

  8. 😉 I think we have similar taste in music too (no pun intended). Alot of late 60’s & early 70’s music was so intriguing…like there were answers to all our questions…
    I remember thinking I *knew* it all back then & 40 yrars later I feel like I know not alot…lol….maybe that is the wisdom…knowing we don’t know anything?? ROFWL!

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