Finnish Spoon Cookies
These cookies took me by surprise. While I was expecting a sandwich cookie in a fun shape, I was amazed by the complexity of such a simple cookie. These are similar to shortbread, buttery and “short,” but made better with toasty brown butter. With the crisp, nutty cookie, sandwiched with fruity jam and covered in sugar, it takes quite some effort not to keep reaching for another. I filled them with strawberry jam, but they can be made with any berry jam; the most traditional being cloudberry jam, if you can find it.
Lusikkaleivät, or Finnish spoon cookies, get their name from how they are shaped. Little mounds of dough are pressed and molded into a spoon before baking. To get the shape right, be sure to use a small spoon you would actually use for stirring tea or coffee, not a measuring teaspoon.
These cookies originate from Ostrobothnia where they are normally made to celebrate Christmas or Easter; however, they can be made just to warm up winter a bit.
If you can wait, the texture improves after a couple days and they truly melt in your mouth.
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
Brown the butter:
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Using a light-colored saucepan will help you gauge the color of the butter as it browns. Once the butter is melted, swirl the pan occasionally to brown evenly. As soon as the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn a deep golden brown, take the pan off the heat to cool slightly.
Mix the dry ingredients:
While the browned butter cools, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients:
Transfer the browned butter to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract.
Make the cookie dough:
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture is uniformly crumbly. Blend in the egg yolk, mixing until the dough is smooth.
Preheat the oven:
Preheat the oven to 165°C (325°F).
Shape the cookies:
To shape a cookie, press a bit of dough firmly into a teaspoon. There is enough butter in the dough that the shaped cookie should easily slide out of the spoon. Space the cookies about 1-2 inches apart; they do not spread much in the oven.
Bake the cookies:
Bake the cookies for 6 – 10 minutes, depending on the size of the spoons you used to shape the cookies. The cookies are done when they are just starting to brown. The cookies I made were on the larger side, and took 10 minutes to bake. Let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Assemble the cookies:
Pour some granulated or powdered sugar into a small bowl.
Spread a small amount of jam on the flat side of one cookie, then form a sandwich with another cookie.
Coat each sandwich completely with sugar.