Living in a region with short days, long nights and temperatures averaging below freezing all winter long, how do Scandinavians continually rank as the happiest people in the world? One part of the equation: hygge. Maybe you’ve heard the term “hygge” being thrown around over the last few years, or followed the hashtag #hygge to Instagram pages full of candles and woolen socks. But what is hygge really about? There’s not a direct English translation for this Danish concept, but hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) encompasses ideas of coziness, togetherness and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
While spending time with loved ones, lighting candles to create a cozy atmosphere and wrapping yourself in a warm blanket are all ways to bring hygge into your life, hygge can encompass all of your senses, including smell and taste. And what better way to warm up on a cold winter day than with a hyggelig (translation: hygge-like) apple cake and hot mug of tea? Read on for nine of our favorite hygge recipes that will help bring coziness, warmth and positive energy into your home.
- Start your morning off on the right foot with Overnight Caramel Latte Cinnamon Rolls, flavored with cinnamon, instant coffee, brown sugar and caramel candies. Let the rolls sit in the refrigerator overnight, pop the baking pan in the oven when you wake up and voilà! Coziness on a plate.
- Pair this almond-topped Fruit-Filled Coffee Cake with a steaming mug of your favorite tea or coffee for the ultimate afternoon pick-me-up. This recipe calls for cherry pie filling, but you can switch up the pie filling flavor for whatever’s in season.
- Who said all hygge recipes had to be sweet? Combine beef, gravy and vegetables in a skillet before baking to make this Easy Shepherd's Pie in just 40 minutes.
- Take advantage of seasonal produce with this recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash. Toss the squash with KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing, paprika and Parmesan cheese and spread evenly on a baking sheet before roasting this delicious Healthy Living one-pan dish.
- End your meal with these spicy and sweet Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies. The hardest part of making these chewy, chocolate-filled cookies is waiting for them to cool!
- Bring something hearty to the table with this recipe for Baked Ziti with Squash & Mushrooms. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan before combining with butternut squash, garlic, mushrooms, rosemary and more.
- Enjoy this Easy Onion-Dill Bread fresh out of the oven, or save it to make Danish-style open-faced sandwiches later in the week. Whichever direction you go, use a serrated bread knife when slicing your bread to prevent its crusty exterior from cracking.
- Show your loved ones you care with this adorable (and tasty!) Heart-Shaped Meatloaf. Bake your meatloaf in silicone heart-shaped molds to achieve the perfect shape.
- Try a Dutch take on hygge with this delicious recipe for Dutch Baby Pancakes. This popover-like pancake is baked in a pie plate before being topped with fresh berries, cream cheese and marshmallow creme.
With these nine hygge recipes in your back pocket, you’ll be ready to take on the winter, Scandinavian-style. Light some candles, fire up the oven and get your hygge on!