Swedish Butter Cookies go perfectly with a cup of our seriously good tea.
If you haven't tried these traditional Swedish cookies before, they are very tasty and not overly sweet. Very easy to make. The same basic dough can be flavored and/or formed into many different versions.
Ingredients for one batch of basic dough (it is ok to double this recipe if you wish):
1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar (bakers sugar is best but regular sugar also works)
1 1/3 cup wheat flour (or regular baking flour)
1. You can microwave the butter for a few seconds to soften it. (Or let it sit out of the refrigerator until it reaches room temperature.)
2. Put the softened butter in a large bowl or on your counter top (if it is suitable for making dough on). Cover it with the sugar and flour and cut the three ingredients together with a knife or pastry cutter, or just use your fingers to quickly nip it into a dough. This kind of dough should not be kneaded.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or similar and place it in the refrigerator to cool off for a while (30 minutes should be enough) so as to be easier to work with. You can also leave it in the refrigerator overnight and bake the next day.
Now you are ready to make the cookies! Here are some suggestions:
You can split the dough into halves, or quarters or thirds, whatever you like, and make each part into a different kind of cookie.
Try to make all the cookies that are the same kind the same size and bake them together on the same cookie sheet or sheets. This way they will bake equally.
Bake the cookies at 400F for 5-10 minutes until they just start to turn golden.
1. Mix ground cardamom into the dough before you put it into the refrigerator. For a full batch use about 2 teaspoons cardamom. Once dough has become more firm by cooling, form the dough into small balls which you then flatten into round cookies. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the cookies.
Instead of cardamom you can use vanilla sugar, or half cardamom and half cinnamon. You can also add nutmeg and ginger to this make a gingerbread tasting cookie. You can take a fork and form stripes on the top of the cookie if you like.
2. These are called "Finnish Sticks": Mix 15 ground hazelnuts or 10 ground almonds for a full batch of dough. If you have bitter almond flavoring use 3-5 drops of this instead of the fresh almonds, that is even better! Roll the dough into lengths about the thickness of an average finger and cut into 3" lengths. Whip one egg in a cup until yolk and whites are blended and brush onto the cookies. Sprinkle with small chopped hazelnut pieces for the hazelnut flavored cookies or small chopped almond pieces for the almond flavored cookies and also sprinkle pearl sugar on both kinds.
3. These are called "Strassburgers": When you make the dough use powdered sugar instead of regular or baker's sugar. Skip the cooling down procedure and instead put the dough in a pastry bag with a large opening and make rings and other shapes on the baking sheet. When they are cool sprinkle with powdered sugar. Keep the cookie size to 2 "- 3".
4. Make mini-baskets with the dough by pressing it into small cupcake forms. When done first put some lingonberry jam into the basket, then top with a dab of whipped cream. Other jams are good too, but should not be too sweet.
5. Roll out the dough to about 2/3 inch thickness and cut out 2"- 2 1/2" diameter cookies. Carefully use your thumb to make a depression in the middle of the cookie and fill it with a good jam, then bake. Or you can make a rim around the edge of the cookies by using your fingers and then the interior with jam. Keep in mind the jam will expand when it heats up in the oven.
6. Split the dough in half and mix in cocoa, amount to taste, in one of the halves Or color one of the halves by mixing together a little sugar and a few drops of food coloring. Cool the dough again if is become too soft to manipulate easily, and roll each of the halves into finger-thick lenghts. Wrap them around each other in candy-cane fashion or combine the two different doughs in some other creative fashion. You can also split the dough into 3 parts and flavor/color them differently and go from there.
So, dear cookie bakers, you can see that this simple dough can make many tasty and different cookies. The only limit is your imagination!
Earl Grey Blue, Earl Grey, Earl Grey Cream, Blood Orange, English Breakfast, Peace and Quiet, Fruit Blend.
BON APPETEA'T !
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