Cookies belong on every dessert table at Christmas. Here are two simple and quick recipes for two old fashioned favorites from Sweden.
Ulrica Pettersson, who shared a couple of recipes with us (scroll down for these), knows a thing or two about cookies. She was born and raised outside Östersund in Jämtland, in what she describes as a rather large and loving family. "Also, growing up you could safely say there were no holds barred when it came to cookies."
You can try her cookies this Sunday at Scandinavia House from 1-4 p.m. Our advice: Bring an appetite and a big bag to bring home what you buy after tasting these tasty bite-sized treats.ADVERTISEMENT
Growing up Ulrica was active in sports, played soccer and snowboarded (possibly to balance all of the cookies) but also photographed and began as a photo assistant at age 20. This led her to graphic design and education at the Miami Ad School. After her education she moved to Stockholm and worked as a designer for 10 years.
"In Stockholm, I met my husband who's in the same industry; and eleven months after our daughter Emmy arrived, we moved to New York. We wanted to try something new. I think it’s in my DNA to try new things and try our different directions in life. I freelanced as a designer but felt it had just become a job.
"I have to follow my heart when I do things, so I sat down and made a list of things I enjoy doing. I seriously checked if I could become a soccer trainer but felt the road may be a bit too long. Baking is something I have always done and it ended up in third place on my list. I saw an opportunity to develop this: the great Swedish tradition of gathering over coffee, over fika, seven kinds of cookies, etc. And the simplicity of the cookies — a few good ingredients and it becomes so good!“
Said and done. Unna Bakery (www.unnabakery.com) was born. Ulrika found inspiration for Unna Bakery’s graphic identity from traditional coffee gatherings, which always include lace tablecloths and flowers on the table. "The logo has its origin in old stamps for porcelain,” she says. "And there is a U and B, which has became my symbol.”
The response to Ulrika’s homemade cookies has been good. She spent fall weekends at the Gansevoort Market in New York, offering her delicious cookies to the finicky New York crowd. She’s at present trying to find another market hall, however, since a bakery has opened on the Gansevoort premises. Her cookies are also sold at Schaller & Weber, at Budin Cafe, Scandinavia House and Scandinavian Butik in Connecticut. “And online course!” Ulrika enthusiastically adds. "Recently the local Swedish Chamber of Commerce used my cookies in goody bags, and the Swedish fashion brand Gudrun Sjödén used me and my cookies for events. I'm constantly working to find new places where the combination of high quality homemade and the traditions of the homeland complement each other.”
For inspiration or to get information on where you can find the cookies, follow Unna Bakery on Twitter, Instagram (@unnabakery) or FB (/unnabakery). For general info, see www.unnabakery.com
Recipes:Cut gingersnap cookies (Skurna pepparkakor)
Yields 75 cookies
125 grams (4 ounces) almonds
200 grams (1/2 pound or 1 stick) butter
180 grams (1 cup) sugar
140 grams (1/2 cup) Golden Syrup
(You can get the syrup at Sockerbit in New York or online at for instance www.scandinavianbutik.com or www.scottshometownfoods.com)
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cloves
1 tsp bicarbonate
360 grams (3-1/2 cups) all purpose flour
Turn oven to 300˚F.
Chop the almonds roughly. Stir butter, sugar, syrup, spices, bicarbonate, almonds and flour. Put the dough on your baking surface and work it until it is supple. Split in two and shape thick rolls. Wrap in plastic and put in refrigerator for a couple hours or until next day. Cut the rolls into thin slices and put on trays prepped with parchment paper or butter. Bake for 12 minutes.
Raspberry cave (Hallongrottor)
Yields 50 cookies
200 grams (1/2 pound or 1 stick) butter
1 tsp vanilla sugar
90 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
270 grams (2-1/2 cups) flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam
Mix the ingredients. Split the dough in two. Make flat and wrap in plastic, refrigerate for 30 min.
Make four rolls and cut each into 12 slices. Put on the pan and make a thumbprint and fill with jam.
Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes.
Enjoy a tradition that is rapidly disappearing in Sweden - serving seven kinds of cookies: The Tradition of Seven Cookies