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Karlberg’s Swedish Semlor

Associate editor Jackie Karlberg is a quarter Swedish, but married a 100 percent Swede. Each holiday season they enjoy a Semla roll, or plural, Semlor. Enjoy this sweet treat!


2 packages yeast (or 1½ tablespoons)
¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup warm water
3 eggs, beaten
4 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, beaten (for tops of buns)


300 grams almond paste
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups whipping cream
Confectioner’s sugar


Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup water with the tablespoon of sugar. Cover, and set aside. Melt butter with the cup of warm water until hot, not boiling. Beat eggs. Mix in ½ cup sugar, the cup of warm water and butter and then the yeast. Then stir in the flour, cardamom and salt. Handle the dough as little as possible. Cover and let rise for 1½ to 2 hours. Roll dough into small, 2 inch balls and place on greased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cover and let rise 1 hour.

Brush the top of each bun with a beaten egg.

Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes.

Cut the top off of each bun. Take out part of the crumbs and put it in a bowl. Add almond paste; mix and dilute with the milk to a soft mixture.

Distribute the filling in the rolls. Whip cream and put a large dollop in every bun. Then replace the tops.

Use a sifter to sift some confectioner’s sugar over the Semlor. Enjoy!

Yield: 24 rolls.

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