What is Hygge? Is it baking Orange Shortbreads with Toddler “Blip”?
It’s funny to see how the Danish expression Hygge has become so popular all over the world.
In lots of magazines, and big furniture stores or even in super markets you will see different items or articles about hygge. This includes how to experience proper Danish hygge or creative the feeling of hygge.
Strangely enough a lot of it seems to turn its focus on tea candles and creating the right atmosphere in your house.
Sometimes when I read articles like this I feel exhausted by just looking at it, as it sounds like experiencing takes quite an effort, or does it?
It is true that you can create a lovely cosy atmosphere with blankets, candles and lots of lovely things, but this in itself does not mean you will have a lovely hyggelig time.
Hygge for me is about creating memories and enjoying the small things in life. Being with the right people and just enjoying the moment. Often you experience hygge at the most unexpected times if you allow yourself to enjoy it.
I bet that almost everyone has tried preparing for a party or a gathering and really looked forward to it, then it turned out really disappointing. Then other times you have met up with someone totally spontaneously and had the best time ever.
You can experience hygge where ever you are, if you allow yourself to enjoy it. I walked through all the autumn leaves this morning with Baby “Flipper” and Toddler “Blip”. Blip took my hand and said, “this is so cosy mummy”, then run of to collect a whole bunch of leaves which he threw up in the air and we both looked at them drifting down to the ground.
Afterwards, we walked home and baked Orange Shortbreads which were delicious.
Whilst they were cooking, Toddler “Blip” assembled a train in our kitchen using all the kitchen chairs and was riding them to Liverpool on the Flying Scotsman (the same train his elephant Sophie went on a few weeks ago, when she went on “holiday” – she was lost but he wasn’t told this). Baby “Blip” formed the last carriage of the train and he had so much fun.
Initially, when I saw him moving all the chairs I felt a bit irritated (I had just tidied up) but then I relaxed and just enjoyed the moment. It’s only chairs after all!
By the time the shortbreads were finished he had moved all the chairs back himself and put a blanket on the floor, so we could have a picnic together.
So, we sat down, and ate biscuits me, him and the baby, the shortbreads where to warm so we kept them for another day.
I can honestly say this is a memory I will treasure for a long long time, it was neither expensive, planned or included tea candles or fairy lights. But this was Hygge. Proper Hygge!
I thought, I would share the recipe for the shortbreads we did together, they are super easy.
However, if you are cooking/baking with a toddler try to make it proper relaxing by getting everything ready before you let them get involved in the cooking/baking.
Believe me, if you are trying to locate the sugar whilst the toddler is standing with a whole bunch of eggs, he can smash you will get stressed. If you can avoid stress you are half the way to experience hygge!
These shortbreads are rustic, a drizzle of chocolate wouldn’t be a bad addition. I didn’t have any chocolate to hand but really it isn’t needed.
Toddler “Blip” enjoys mixing the ingredients and grating the zest of the orange. He also put the mixture into the tin!
150g unsalted butter, (room temperature)
1 pinch salt
200g plain four
50g granualted sugar
Zest of 1 orange
- Preheat the oven to 190C.
- Then take a small square baking tin and line with greaseproof paper, mine measured 20cm.
- In a bowl, mix together the butter, flour, salt and sugar and the finely grated zest of the orange. Mix it by rubbing the mixture between your thumbs and fingertips, then squash and pat it into a dough, but make sure you don’t knead it. Then push the mixture into the baking tray in a 1 cm layer.
- Prick all over with a fork, then bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Carefully cut the shortbread into 12 squares and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- Now eat them with a nice cup of tea.
Bon Appetite – As my granddad would have said
These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per November 2017)
Unsalted butter (£1.60/250g)x150g= 96p
1 pinch salt 1p
200g plain four (£0.55/1500g)x 200g= 8p
Granulated sugar (£1.35/2000g)x50g=4p
Zest of 1 orange 30p
Total price £1.48 – per piece 13p