Souvenir Makes No. 3: Scandi Snacks

12 Dec

Regular readers will know about the recent goal I set myself, to only buy holiday souvenirs that I can use to make lovely things. No more fibre optic Eiffel Towers or Kiss-Me-Quick hats from Blackpool!

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I picked up these fab cookie cutters during the Stockholm leg of my Scandinavian roadtrip back in October, as they were perfect reminders of Sweden – they depict Moomintroll, Little My and Snufkin* from the Moomin stories, and the ubiquitous Dala horse. Ever since returning home, I have been eager to get baking!

I used BJ Reeve’s recipe from AllRecipes.com for Sugar and Spice Cookies. I have copied the recipe below, but if you do try it, please remember to post your feedback on the AllRecipes page so that BJReeve can see it!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour               1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup packed brown sugar                  1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract                         1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon                     1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1. Mix the flour, the baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a bowl. I also added half a teaspoon of ground ginger at this point, as I love the taste!

2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth; beat the egg and vanilla extract into the butter mixture. Add the flour mixture in small amount to the butter mixture, beating each addition until blended. Add any colouring you wish to use at this stage. I ended up mixing up two batches, one in the classic red for the Dala horses, and one plain for the Moomins.

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3. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

4. Preheat an oven to 175 degrees . Grease baking sheets (or use greaseproof paper if you have any).

5. Roll the dough out on a floured work surface with a rolling pin to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutters. Arrange the cut cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, ensuring there is enough space for the dough to spread.

At this stage, I found it worked well to chill the shapes again for 20 mins, as it helped them to maintain their shape during cooking. I also found that you had to be really careful when easing the dough out of the cookie cutter, in order to protect the dough shape. A butter knife came in handy for loosening the edges.

6. Finally, bake in the preheated oven until the edges begin to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. The aroma of the spices will fill your kitchen and you will be tested to the limits of your patience as you wait for them to cool before icing.

Once the cookies were completely cooled, it was time to get on with the fun and messy task of icing them.

Dala horses are traditionally seen with blue and white saddles, alhough you can see them in a wide variety of shades. I decided to keep it simple with just two colours. As you can see, my icing leaves much to be desired, but I think I am slowly (very slowly) improving. Once the icing had set, I used a cocktail stick to punch a hole in the surface, for added decoration.

I would have loved to decorate my Moomins with cheeky expressions and different outfits on, but I didn’t trust my icing skills, to be honest! I’m quite a novice baker and so I decided to keep them simple with just a light touch of white icing piped around the edge.

I took a batch of the cookies with me to Kat’s wedding crafternoon a few weeks ago. They went like hotcakes! They have a lovely, mildly spiced flavour, and the icing added sweetness.

I made such a lot of dough, that I was able to freeze up some more cookie shapes for baking at a later time! As long as the dough is well wrapped up in clingfilm or in airtight bags, it should last for a few months. This means that I should be able to take freshly baked cookies with me when I next visit my family. Hopefully my icing skills will improve with time.

*PS, anyone who wants to know the names of each of the Moomin characters need look no further than here . I have never known their real names until now!

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2 Responses to “Souvenir Makes No. 3: Scandi Snacks”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Christmas Confectionery Cavalcade! | Welcome to my blog - 01/09/2015

    […] up some sloe gin (reprised from last year’s success) and also baked a few more batches of the Swedish sugar and spice cookies. Never let it be said that I would let friends and family go hungry (or sober) at […]

    Like

  2. Souvenir Makes No. 4: A Swedish Christmas | Welcome to my blog - 01/26/2015

    […] would show you that my little Swedish dala horse cutter (which has already come in rather handy for festive baking) was put to very good use this Christmas – to make clay tree […]

    Like

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