Mary Anne here. Mariel’s BFF is getting married in May, and naturally we’ll be hosting her bridal shower. Mariel’s gal pal is like the second daughter I never had, and so of course I want the party to reflect how much we love her. One of the best ways to express our devotion is through food (natch!) and so I’ve been thinking a lot about the menu (a bridal tea, what else?). Lacking inspiration – a definite problem in the post-holiday blues of January, I searched through some of my mom’s ancient cookbooks for something “borrowed” and something “new.” I hit pay-dirt when I perused the pages of her well-worn 1956 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook. Thumbing through those creased, shortening-stained pages dredged up memories of old-time childhood favorites like “Dribble Cake” with boiled icing and Snickerdoodles, treasured treats I’ll be revisiting in the near future. What I chose to focus on in the meantime were these delicate, nut-studded butter cookies from Finland. And although the original recipe instructs to cut the cookie dough into strips, I found it far easier to use a biscuit cutter as the dough is very buttery so it’s less likely to break this way. No matter how you cut this dough, it’s an elegant bite of butter and almonds and certain to be a perfect mate at bridal teas or any occasion where a hot cuppa needs a sweet partner!
Finska Kakor Makes about 3 ½ dozen
Tip: Allow the chilled dough to sit at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes before rolling out. It will be far more pliable, and less likely to break into large pieces. Ingredients: ¾ cup sweet butter, softened – stock ¼ granulated sugar – stock 1 Teaspoon vanilla or almond extract – stock 2 cups all-purpose flour – stock For the Topping: 1 egg white, lightly beaten – stock 1/3 cup ground, blanched almonds mixed with 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar- $1.29 Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $1.29 Total Per Cookie: $0.03 Directions: 1. Using a mixer, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the flavoring, mixing well to combine. 2. Gradually stir in the flour. You will need to mix with your hands and the finished product will resemble coarse meal. 3. Gather the dough into a ball; place on a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover the ball with a second piece of plastic and flatten into a round disc. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. 4. As noted above, before rolling out, allow the chilled dough to sit on the counter top for 20 to 30 minutes before rolling out. 5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the counter and rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to ¼ – inch thickness. Using a 2 – inch biscuit cutter, cut out cookies and transfer to an un-greased cookie sheet. 6. Gather up the remaining scraps; form a small ball, and roll out to ¼ – inch thickness. Cut out cookies as in step 5. 7. Using a small pastry brush, lightly paint the top of each cookie with the egg white. Sprinkle with the ground almond-sugar mixture. 8. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 17 to 20 minutes, just until the cookies are turning a pale golden. 9. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Store in a sealed plastic container for up to 4 days.