On Sunday the 15th of February, the children of Denmark will dress up and hit  a barrel filled with candy, apples and oranges. This is a tradition that comes from Holland around the 15th century. The people of Holland put a living cat into the barrel. The cat was a symbol of all the evil and hitting the barrel was an attempt to rense the air from evil in the air for spring planting. When the barrel was damaged so bad that the barrel fell apart, the cat  jumped the cat out and was allowed to run away. Poor thing, he or she must have had a nervous breakdown. Thankgoodness, the Danes stopped this around 1880.  This was done the 50 days before Easter to celbrate the start of lent. The name in English is impossibe to pronounce and even more difficult to spell. Let’s just use the Germany translation “fast evening”.After beating on the barrel, the children will go from house to house singing “I want buns and if I don’t get buns, I’ll  make trouble. Buns up, buns down, buns in my tummy.” Years ago the children would get buns, but now people give them money. They have to go home to their parents to get buns.
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Buns with Vanilla Crème

Makes 10-12 buns

1 lb. flour, 3 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cardamon, 1 oz, fresh yeast,, 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 2 tsp. sugar, 12 oz. butter

Sugar paste:  4  oz. butter 3 oz. sugar

Vanlla Crème: 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. flour, 3/4 cup milk, ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup whipping creme

Sift flour and mix with sugar, salt and cardamom. . Dissolve the yeast in half of the milk. Add yeast, the rest of the milk and the beaten egg to the flour and sugar. Beat until smooth.

On a lightly floured surace, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 cm (½ inch). Spread small pieces of butter on 2/3 of the dough. Fold together into three layers like folding a napkin, first part without butter. Roll out and fold again. Repeat three or four times. Leave in a cold place for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, make the vanilla crème, beat the egg yolk with sugar, flour and milk.Cook over very low heat while beating the whole time until thick. Remove from the heat and add vanilla extract; then cool, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 445°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Spread with a paste made of butter and sugar. Cut into squares of 4×4 inces. Place filling of vanilla creme in the middle, fold corners to the center, forming dough as a ball and place upside down on a greased baking sheet. Leave in a cold place to rise 15-20 minutes, then brush with egg white and bake 10 minutes.

When the buns are cool, cut half way around the middle. Fill the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe  the cream into the buns.

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