Lovely Swedish Dreams
A light and delicate Scandinavian cookie treasured by all ages
To achieve this cookie’s famously delicate crunch, use a light touch. And use the secret ingredient, Baker’s Ammonia, a leavening agent common in many Scandinavian cookies and pastries. Lancello also swears by margarine, but butter produces equally ethereal results.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup safflower or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon of baker’s ammonia (also called “horn salt”) or 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease a few baking sheets.
2. In a large bowl, beat the remaining 7 tablespoons butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Continue beating while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream.
3. Combine the baker’s ammonia or baking powder with a tablespoon of the flour and fold into the mixture. Sprinkle half the remaining flour over the batter and use your hands to quickly knead it in to make a dough. Knead in the remaining flour.
4. Take a piece of dough about half the size of a walnut, roll into a small ball and press gently onto one of the baking sheets. The cookie should look rounded, not flat. If you like, press a slivered almond into the center. Continue until all the dough is used, leaving about 1 inch between cookies. Bake until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.