A colleague of mine gave me a Swedish cookbook, The Swedish Smörgåsbord. It is a beautifully photographed book, about (you guessed it) the Swedish smorgasbord. It is a traditional Scandinavian meal, served as a warm and cold buffet. In Denmark it is usually referred to as “Det Kolde Bord” (The cold table) or “Det Store Kolde Bord” (The Big Cold Table).
The book describes the Swedish tradition, with eight “rounds”. The seventh round, Dessert, and eight round, Coffee, biscuits and confectionary, immediately drew my attention (Even though Brawn of home-killed pork also sparked my interest, mostly because I don’t usually kill my own pork).
I tried out the Vanilla horns, a very simple cookie. It is essentially a vanilla scented shortbread cookie, which immediately after baking is rolled in sugar. I changed it up slightly, by rolling the baked cookies in homemade Vanilla Sugar, as well as playing around with other scented sugars.
325 g flour
200 g butter
2 tbsp. vanilla sugar
Vanilla sugar, caster sugar or scented sugar for covering the cookies
Pre-heat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
Mix the flour and vanilla sugar, and work the butter into the flour mixture with your hands. The mixture will come together to a dough.
Take portions of the dough out, using a 1/2 tbsp. measuring spoon. Shape these portions to ovals, with slightly pointy ends. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes, until the edges just begin to take colour. Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, dip them in vanilla sugar (or a different sugar), and place them on a rack to cool off. You will want to work quickly, to make sure the sugar sticks to the cookies.
I brought these cookies to work, and one colleague said they tasted Swedish, exactly as the cookies her Swedish relatives usually makes!
For different variants try cinnamon sugar:
Or Rose-Hibiscus-Vanilla Sugar:
The very simple base of this cookie opens up to a world of possibilities. Pumpkin spice sugar for fall, liquorice sugar, lemon sugar, and the list continues!
If you try the cookies out, or have great ideas for variants, please share below!