It's been too many years since Mom and I have spent Christmas together. This year I'm back in Hawaii for 2 weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. On a blustery cold Sunday afternoon Mom and I decided to get to work making a Vinetarta. It's a traditional Icelandic Holiday cake we've been making since I was very young. A good handful of my relatives in Blaine, WA were of Icelandic decent.
It's a bit of a lengthy process that usually starts with boiling down the filling that consists of dried Prunes, dried Currants, Brandy and/or Rum, (just use both, it's Christmas after all!) Cardamom, Lemon juice and Vanilla extract. The Prunes may sound a bit off putting but it's surprisingly really tasty.
The next step is to make around 6 or 7 large sugar cookie sheets that will divide each layer. Basically Eggs, Flour, Sugar, Vanilla and Almond extract and an overly generous amount of Butter. I guess that's really more of a Short Bread.
This may not be true to the traditional recipe but it's extra good to put a thin layer of a Powered Sugar icing with a bit of Almond extract mixed into it on the very top cookie layer of the Vinetarta. Let sit for at least a day before cutting into it, so the Prune filling can sink into the cookie/short bread layers and soften them a bit.
This cake is pretty rich and small slice is especially nice late at night with a bit of Guava desert wine.