This year I had my act together and registered in time to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I joined in the fun several years ago and had a good experience then, and I’m really glad I played again this year. In the years that passed the cookie swap has grown and grown and there’s a nice fundraising aspect to it, too—each participant donates a small sum to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a nonprofit involved with funding research and development in the area of pediatric cancer.
Plus, it’s a chance to connect with other food bloggers and enjoy some delicious cookies. Only two of the three folks sent me cookies, but that’s ok—I loved baking mine and sending them out in pretty boxes more than anything.
This year I chose to bake muskotsnittar, a buttery Swedish cookie redolent with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger that develops and intensifies in flavor each day. They happen to travel well, too, and I’m pleased to have learned that my cookies arrived without much, if any, breakage. This recipe for muskotsnittar is from the book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall—you can buy it here via Powell’s or find it at your local bookstore (here’s mine, Astoria Bookshop—indie beats behemoth Amazon IMO). I have a great affinity for cooking and baking traditional foods from the Scandinavian and Nordic countries, and these cookies made me really happy. Bonus: each batch makes a lot, and they freeze better, so in my book these cookies have it all.
You can find the recipe, here. I made one little adjustment of adding a bit of salt to the dough. Here’s the list of ingredients:
From Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature (Kerrygold is my fave)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
The recipe works a lot like a lot of shortbread cookies, where you mix the ingredients together and refrigerate the dough. The recipe specified “at least 30 minutes” so I left it in for about an hour.
I split up the ball of dough into four quadrants and rolled each out into a log. I lifted it up and put it on the baking sheet (lined with a silicone mat from Dixie Crystals, a gift sent to many of the food bloggers participating in the cookie swap—thanks, Dixie Crystals!) and pressed the log into a flat piece about 1/4 inch thick.
Then I dragged a fork across the dough along the short width.
I baked the cookies for about 18-20 minutes, let them cool, then cut them on the bias. That angle, along with the marks the fork made, yielded a very pretty cookie!
I let them cool completely and then boxed them up. Thankfully I had some left over, which I enjoyed for a few days with coffee and tea.
I’m so happy to have been a part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year. Big thanks to OXO for sending us a set of measuring cups, Dixie Crystals for the silicone baking mat, not to mention Lindsay (Love and Olive Oil) and Julie (The Little Kitchen) for working so hard to organize the cookie swap.