Thursday, November 25, 2010


This is the first post in a short series on cookies. With the holiday baking season upon us, we will explore different cookies and their source cookbooks. Each cookie recipe is worth adding to your baking repertoire. First up, Strassburgers from a classic Swedish cookbook entitled Sju Sorters Kakor. Melody Favish’s English translation of this heritage cookbook is entitled Swedish Cakes and Cookies [2008].

Sju Sorters Kakor is an apt title for the original Swedish text. The literal translation of this title is “Seven Kinds of Cakes”, a reference to the traditional offerings at a Swedish coffee klatch. In bygone days, hosts aspired to present their guests with at least seven different cakes and cookies to enjoy over coffee and conversation. In its Foreword, Sju Sorters Kakor laments: “…in today’s world, there is seldom time for more than one or two kinds of cake.” Alas!

The English translation of Sju Sorters Kakor has much to recommend it. The book presents over 300 classic, homemade baked goods. I like the book’s clean layout and extensive photographs. The recipes primarily use metric measurements, but imperial measurements are also provided. (Choose one or the other, but don’t mix and match.) In a world of heavy, coffee table cookbooks, I appreciate this book’s smaller, handy size.

A favorite recipe from the book is for Strassburgers. To my eye these cookies resemble chocolate-dipped comets or shooting stars.

Oven Temp: 175°C (350°F)
  • 100 g (7 tablespoons) stick margarine or butter, softened
  • ½ dl (¼ cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ dl (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 dl (1/3 cup) potato starch or cornstarch

  • Jelly or powdered sugar
  • Melted semi-sweet chocolate

1) Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour and starch, mixing well.

2) Using a cookie press or bag with a star tip, make mounds or lengths directly onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

3) Bake on the center oven rack for around 10 minutes.

4) Pipe a little jelly onto each cookie or sift powdered sugar over and dip one end in melted chocolate.

This recipe makes approximately 25 cookies. Some thoughts on the recipe: pre-heat your oven. I used butter, vanilla extract and cornstarch and was quite happy with the results. If you have a cookie press, consider using it. I used a pastry bag and found the dough quite stiff and difficult (but not impossible) to pipe. Perhaps this is why I was well short of the recipe’s approximate quantity of 25 cookies. I skipped the jelly and powdered sugar. Make sure the cookies are cool before dipping (not scooping) the cookies in the melted chocolate.