I'm super-excited about tonight's dinner: Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken, Butternut Squash Risotto, roasted asparagus, and Honey Whole Wheat Bread. Drooling, I am.
And for dessert? Probably a little ice cream and an assortment of cookies. What else is there at this time of year?
As I was daydreaming about tonight's dinner (I do that kind of thing a lot--honestly, if you ever got really inside my head . . . ) I remembered that I forgot something. (My family is shocked right now.)
I told you a while back that I would give you the recipe to our family's favorite Christmas cookie . . . EVER. I think I've made about four batches of these babies this season so far. And I'll probably make another before the week is out.
But first I have to tell you that I have no idea if these are really Christmas cookies at all. One of my college housemates, Bonnie, who was the most beautiful, blonde Swede I've ever known (still is, as a matter of fact!), used to make these when we lived in Fellowship House together our senior year. I fell in love with them then, and I still love them today.
Somewhere along the way, I took to adding some Christmas-colored sugar to the tops of these and, voila!, Christmas cookies.
Bonnie just called them Swedish Cookies, aka Brun Brot. Maybe in Sweden they eat these in the summer, I have no idea, but here at the Wild house, we eat them at Christmas. Every year it's the first and pretty much the only cookie my family demands that I make.
Everything else is just fluff. It's the Brun Brot they want.
Basically, these are an almond-flavored butter cookie. Delish, that's for sure, but I think it must be something about the shape that makes these cookies extra-appealing. They're just perfect for dunking into a cup of coffee or tea, kind of like biscotti but without the crack-your-teeth-on-it-and-have-to-run-to-the-dentist-on-Christmas-Eve kind of thing. These are soft and buttery and just a little bit chewy.
And SO easy to make. You must make these. Today. Because time is running out.
Here we go. First, assemble your ingredients: butter (lots), sugar, brown sugar, Karo syrup (Bonnie's original recipe called for Dark Karo, but I never have that so I just use the light stuff. It works.), almond flavoring, flour, and baking soda. Pretty basic, right?
Next, whip together the butter (make sure it's room temperature) and the sugars. Beat the heck out of them until they're really fluffy.
Then add everything else. Your dough will be kind of stiff, but that's how it's supposed to be.
Just throw it out on your counter and knead it a little bit, forming a big ball of dough.
Then divide it into four smaller balls.
Next, gently roll each ball of dough into a rope, a little shorter than the length of your cookie sheet.
Slightly pat down each rope and cover with colored sugar.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. See how they spread out?
Now, here's the important part. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes, then slice them on a diagonal, making about 1 inch pieces.
Plate them up and give some to your college kid! They will disappear faster than you can say Santa Claus.
Bonnie's Swedish Cookies (Brun Brot)
3 sticks butter, room temperature
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Karo syrup
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
3 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mix together butter and sugars, beating well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well (you can do this with your hands, too). Place on cookie sheet in 4 long ropes. Barely pat down; add colored sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until the edges are barely brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then slice into 1 inch pieces.
Now tell me, what's YOUR favorite Christmas cookie?