I have another Swedish recipe for you today. These ones are a little different than the lussekatter, pepparkakor, and the chokladbollar. These weren’t a cookie that I was raised baking often or that are attached to a particular holiday. I don’t remember the first time I had these, but I have some fond recent memories of them.
My favorite story about these cookies have to do with Ryan. I was big into making desserts (no shocker there) for all of our dinners that my friends would have during study abroad. We would either be at my apartment, Emily’s apartment, or Ryan and Evan’s apartment, and we would cook dinner, drink wine, and then have a great night out in the city. Those are some of my favorite memories of abroad. Like going into systembolaget – the Swedish liquor store – and finding a ‘cheap’ bottle of wine that would go well with whatever we were eating that night. And for those of you who don’t know, Ryan and I met while on the same study abroad program in Stockholm.
Anyway, the point of the story is that I made a point to bake a lot when I was abroad. One night, Ryan and I decided to bake these dream cookies (drömmar). I actually had to ask him today what prompted us to decide on these, since we had had some baking dates where I was sharing some fun recipes – kanelbullar (those will definitely be making an appearance on the blog soon) and my family recipe for biscotti going back to Italy. He said that I had mentioned these cookies and he really wanted to make them because they were called dream cookies. Okay, that makes sense.
So we’re at his apartment, baking cookies. The recipe called for 18-20 minutes of baking time, so we put the cookies in the oven and then me Ryan and Evan were hanging out in the living room. I decided I wanted to check on the cookies halfway through, because I love watching the transformation from dough to final product. Ryan thought I was being silly, that the cookies had only been in there 8-10 minutes and were only halfway done. Well, I can say I told you so here because I open the oven door and the cookies are charred to a crisp. Literally. They were black charcoal. Smoke came billowing out of the oven, we opened all the windows and thankfully avoiding setting off the fire alarm. See how bad they looked? It wasn’t like they were just burned on the outside. They were literally burned to a crisp, through and through.
We still had quite a bit of dough left, so we put in another baking sheet and this time we sat in front of the oven watching the cookies bake in about 4 minutes. Craziness. Their kitchen had all sorts of problems, but thankfully we did get some good cookies and a story out of it.
So fast forward to present day. This past Friday, the 19th, was my “Name Day” in Sweden. Every day of the year is associated with a name or two and it’s a fun little extra thing to celebrate. It’s not a big celebration – no gifts or anything – but it’s a fun little extra way to celebrate what could be an otherwise normal day. We didn’t celebrate growing up really, but I thought it was a fun thing anyway to start now. So, that’s when I decided to bake these cookies and I have been snacking on them since.
They’re a delicious little cookie. They’re light, sweet and fragrant from the vanilla sugar. They have a nice crunch and they’re filled with little air bubbles that turn into a slightly crumbly cookie with you bite into them. These would be great to make for dessert one night to pair with coffee. I can speak from experience (I drank coffee Friday night with my friend Kelsey, also from my study abroad program who is also half Swedish, out at this bar and then ate a cookie when I got home, and the caffeine didn’t get to me! Probably one of the only times I will ever be able to say I drank coffee past 4pm without turning crazy. The swedish half of me would be proud). Bring these to a dinner party, make a baking date with a friend or significant other, or make these for yourself. You’re worth it.
Drömmar: Swedish Dream Cookies
7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon hornsalt/baking ammonia (or 2 tsp baking powder)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Slowly add the oil with the mixer on low speed. Add in the hornsalt and flour and beat until combined. The dough will be on the dryer side. Form tablespoon size chunks of dough into balls. Place on the baking sheet and lightly press the dough down with your thumb.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cookies have just begun to set. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
[source: adapted from Swedish Cakes and Cookies]