Although most of the everyday dishes of the Scandinavian countries can be prepared using cooking equipment common to western kitchens, the glories of Scandinavian cuisine, its incomparable and beautiful cookies, pastries, and cakes, are best made using specialty baking tools. A few are expensive; most are not and are readily available from gourmet or Scandinavian cooking suppliers or on eBay.
These small fluted tins, typically about 2" long, come in a variety of heart, triangle, oblong, and flower shapes and are used for baking exquisite Sandbakkelser butter cookies that can also be used as delicious tart shells. They are very inexpensive and are fun to collect from antique stores and garage sales if you choose not to buy them new.
Used to create Denmark's justly famous Aebleskiver, wonderfully light pastry balls that taste like a cross between a donut and a pancake, a cast-iron Aebleskiver pan can also be used to make American-style muffins on a stove or over a campfire. They pay for themselves almost immediately, but be sure to purchase one that will work on your particular stove. Some newer flat stovetops require pans to be level in order to distribute the heat properly; older aebleskiver pans come with molded bottoms, but they are also now being made with flat bottoms.
The best Swedish pancakes are thin and only about the size of silver dollars. They are commonly made using a cast-iron plattar pan, which uniformly cooks these sweet treats to a standard size and thickness--as lovely to look at as to eat! As with all cast-iron pans in this modern day and age, you should look for a design that will work on your particular stovetop.
Krumkake bakers are used to make fragile, intricately imprinted cookies that are rolled immediately after baking into a cone or cigar shape. Traditionally served at Christmas in Norwegian households, krumkaker are also a thoughtful and elegant gift to make and present to friends, teachers, relatives, or work associates as a way to show them that they're special.
In Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, bakers use these six graduated metal ring molds to bake the eighteen layers of a Kransekake, or ring cake, for celebratory occasions. The baked cake rings are stacked into a pyramid that is typically then decorated with small flags, cookies, or candies.