Monday, December 7, 2009

Swedish Christmas Cookies

I love to bake! I really do. I honestly prefer to bake than to cook meals. I just find butter, sugar, eggs and flour more compilable and willing to work with me rather than against me. :) This Christmas cookie time of year always yields Christmas Cookie Exchanges - a time to try out large recipes to see if these cookies will be delicious. Swedish Christmas Cookies was a home run! They are also very conducive to freezing the dough and simply cooking a few at a time when you get a hankering for them. I original obtained the recipe from here.



These cookies were created in a two step process and using a new spice that I had never worked with before. Cardamom, it is delicious - and I don't know how I've missed it all these years!



Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), at room temperature

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Colored sanding sugars or chopped toasted pecans





Directions:

Whisk the flour, cardamom, and salt in a bowl.



Combine the butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add in the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest until combined. Add the flour mixture and blend all together. The dough should be butter and smooth.



After completing the dough, create two logs in plastic wrap. Place the logs in the refrigerator for 30 minutes in order for the dough to get firm enough to work with. Take the dough out and roll it into more even logs about 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours but best to refrigerate overnight.


I used an egg white and water wash to coat my logs, but I think any variant of an egg wash would be fine. In my oven I found 20 minutes to be perfect. The only thing I might try next time is to egg wash the tops of the cookies to give them a little more browning to them. They were a little bland ontop when they were out. So presentation wise they were a little underwelming on top compared to the fancy and festive sides. No complaints on the taste. The cardamom spice was yummy. Some describe it as lemon-y, others say peppery - so use it cautiously. I also added a dash of cinnamon into my recipe!



Preheat the oven 325'.
Take the logs out of the freezer and use an egg wash to coat the logs and roll the logs in the sugar. Slice into about 24 cookies from each log at about 1/4 inch thick. Cook for 20-25 minutes.






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