Moth to the flame. Bee to the blossom. Lighthouse in a storm. The top of Grandma’s refrigerator. The first stop after welcome hugs. Check the top of the refrigerator. Cookie tin? Yes. A quick look inside. Would it be one of my favorites? This ritual was repeated with every visit to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The top of the refrigerator was rarely empty. I’m not sure if the full cookie tin was in honor of our visits or if it was just a nearly permanent fixture.
Grandma’s cookie repertoire was wide and varied, most notably at Christmas. During the calendar year her cookie focus narrowed down to her cookie staples, and instead a vast and expanding venue of desserts made their appearance. Cakes. Pies. Tarts. Pastries. Always variations on a theme….butter, sugar, flour. Butter, the central theme. Sometimes eggs, sometimes cardamom, sometimes almonds. But always the common denominator? Butter.
The star of the sweet show? Cookies. Handheld perfection. The repository for this perfection? Grandma’s cookie tin . Once in a great while there were chocolate chip cookies (rarely), but the most frequent occupants of the cookie tin were krum kaga, lemon cookies, or a long standing favorite, Swedish Farmer cookies.
Swedish Farmer cookies? Grandma was Norwegian. A contradiction? No. The ingredients were Norwegian enough to make their presence in the kitchen most welcome. I asked. That was her response.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, Swedish Farmer cookies didn’t stand a chance against Grandpa. These were his favorites. Keeping these cookies in the house longer than a day? Rare. Swedish Farmer Cookies were Grandpa’s nemesis. Think the cookie equivalent of potato chips. Grandpa’s sole defense against an empty cookie tin? They are one bite. (One Grandpa bite, anyway.) I understand. (Although I stretched it to two bites.)
Swedish Farmer Cookies are a perfect cookie. Perfect with milk. Perfect alone. Perfect with coffee. These remain one of my favorite cookies to make, to eat. Think browned butter and almonds. A little bigger than a silver dollar. They are quick to mix. Quick to bake. They make a perfect entrance wherever they go.
Swedish Farmer Cookies
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c sugar
1 T dark corn syrup
2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/3 slivered almonds, chopped
Cream butter & sugar in a stand mixer until light & fluffy, 2-3 minutes; scrape bowl w/ spatula. Add corn syrup. Mix an additional 2 minutes.
In a medium bowl whisk flour and baking soda. Add gradually to butter/sugar mixture, low speed. Scrape bowl, add almonds. Mix, stopping to scrape bowl w/ spatula. Dough will come together when finished mixing.
Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape one portion of dough into a log—using wax paper to roll, smooth and shape the dough into a log approximately 10” long, 1 1/4” diameter. Repeat w/ 2nd half of dough. Place on sheet pan. Refrigerate minimum 2 hours. If refrigerated longer, you may need to leave out at room temperature to soften a bit.
Slice log into 1/4” slices. Place a minimum of 1” apart on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes @ 350 degrees. Cookies should be slightly dark on the edges, light golden brown in the center. Cool completely before eating. Makes 72 cookies. Store in airtight container. these are good for 5-7 days. These cookies taste even better the day(s) after they are baked.