I am so glad that I blog about cookies and not about fish. After a few days in Finland I desperately need a fish break……. Fortunately the Finns also love their sweets. You can find a coffee shop, bakery or cafe on almost every corner of Helsinki and dig in to the most delicious sweet pastries and cookies. The most famous chocolate shop/patisserie is run by the Finnish chocolate brand Fazer. An elegant place where they serve an excellent breakfast and carry an enormous selection of Finnish pastries. I asked a sales lady about traditional cookies and she immediately started about her favorite: lusikkaleivat. Sadly they did not sell it at Fazer, but she directed me to Stockmann. Stockmann is the only big department store in Finnland and it reminded me of Harrods. The Finns say: ‘If it is not sold by Stockman, it is not worth having’. I found an enormous food department in the basement with a great selection of fish (well, naturally) but also a huge bakery with every imaginable kind of bread. I loved all the beautifull shaped crackers, the dark rye breads and the glass counters filled with pastries. And in the corner of one of those counters I found freshly baked lusikkaleivat! Two super short biscuits formed by a teaspoon. After they are baked they are stuck together with some jam. They are also called Herrasväen pikkuleivät or ‘upperclass cookie’s because they are so delicate and do take some time to make. If you like this cookie, try my variation of the lusikkaleivat cookie: The Finnish flower cookie with cardamom and gooseberry.
Finnish lusikkaleivat cookies
Voor about 30 cookies
200 grams of unsalted butter
350 grams of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
150 gram sugar + extra for sprinkling
7 grams of vanilla sugar or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
about 100 grams of jam or jelly for the filling
Melt the butter in a saucepan and boil it for about 5-7 minutes on medium fire until the solids turn nutty brown. Keep stirring and take care not to burn the butter, because that tastes horrible. Take from the stove and leave to cool for a while.
Mix the flour with the the baking powder, the salt, the sugar and the vanilla. Mix everything through the cooled butter. The dough should have the consistency of wet sand.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and preheat the oven to 175° C (350 ° F) . Scoop up some dough with a teaspoon and scrape off the excess dough along the edge of the bowl (or use your hands). Press the dough flat and gently push the dough from the teaspoon on the baking tray. Make sure to make an even amount of cookies.
Bake the cookies 12-15 min. until they are ligthtly browned. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle with sugar. Leave them to cool of on the tray. Spread some jam on the bottom side of every other cookie (I used lingonberry jam, but raspberry jam is also very popular in Finnland) and stick the other cookie on top. Sprinkle with some extra sugar and serve.
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