Recipe by Daytona Strong
Originally appeared on Norwegian American Weekly
Photo Credit: Daytona Strong
For the Buns:
1 stick (8 tbsps.) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. freshly-ground cardamom
5 Tbsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
approx. 4 cups flour
1 beaten egg, for brushing
For the almond filling:
1 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
filling from buns
3 Tbsp. milk or cream
1/2 tsp. almond extract
whipped cream, for filling
powdered sugar, for dusting
To make the buns:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and cardamom and heat until hot but not boiling, then set aside and cool until lukewarm.
Pour a half cup or so of the lukewarm milk into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast and a tablespoon of the sugar. Let sit until the yeast bubbles, about 5 minutes. Pour in the remaining milk, along with the remaining sugar, egg, and salt.
Stir in the flour gradually with a wooden spoon, starting with about half of the flour and then adding a half cup or so at a time until you have a dough that’s firm and releases from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Form it into a large ball.
Lightly grease a large bowl—you can use the same mixing bowl if you wipe it out—and plop in the dough, turning it around until it’s coated. Cover with a damp cloth and set to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425º F (220º C) and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Punch down the dough and shape into 12 balls, using your hands to roll them as smoothly as possible. Place them on the baking sheets with the smoothest side up. Cover with a damp towel and let rise again, this time about 20 minutes. Brush with the beaten egg.
Bake in the center of the oven, one sheet at a time, for about 10 minutes until golden on top—watch carefully as they quickly turn too dark. Rotate if needed for even baking. If they’re browning too quickly and the insides need time, then cover the tops with a sheet of foil paper. Cool on a wire rack.
When the buns are cool, use a sharp knife to carefully cut the top off of each one. Scoop out part of the inside; you can use your fingers for this, but I like to cut a circle with the knife and scoop out the bread with a grapefruit spoon. Set aside.
For the filling:
To make the almond filling, whirl the almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add the powdered sugar and the reserved bread filling and pulse a few times until combined. Add the milk or cream and the almond extract and process until the filling comes together.
Evenly distribute the filling into the cavities, then pipe on a generous amount of whipped cream. Top with the bread lids, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.