Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rosenmunnar (Swedish Thumbprint Cookies)

It's Christmas cookie time of year. I love to bake. And I love to bake cookies. But I really like things that are easy to make. These cookies are all the things you want in a cookie. Just a handful of ingredients. You can keep the ingredients simple and use whatever jam you have in the house, you can skip the sugar drizzle if you're out of powdered sugar. I have written the recipe to show the little extras that I have discovered make these super-easy cookies even more super fabulous: like vanilla bean paste in the icing. Rosenmunnar means literally "red mouth" as I understand Swedish. I imagine the Swedish immigrants of Minnesota used whatever jam was available to them, like raspberry or strawberry. But back in Sweden I imagine these with lingonberry jam. I haven't tried them that way, but if you are Swedish or have Swedish heritage in your family, I'd love to hear what jams were traditionally used in your grandmother's house. The recipe has very few ingredients, but don't let that deceive you. They are spectacular and complex! My mother has a wonderful recipe for a ribbon cookie that you roll into a log, flatten, fill with jam, bake, cut into strips, etc. etc. Too many steps. When I decided to make 10 dozen cookies for our church cookie walk... these are the cookies I made. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

Rosenmunnar (Swedish thumbprint cookies)
1 c. butter, room temp
1/2 c. white sugar
2 c. flour, I use white unbleached.
1/2 c jam (I use homemade raspberry but found we like it best with Smucker's Orchard's Finest Northwest Triple Berry Preserves. YUM!)
Heat oven to 375°F. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until it goes from fine crumbs to almost a ball and all the dough is pulled off the sides of the mixing bowl. Shape into 1" balls, place on cookie sheet and press a little indentation on top with your thumb. Fill thumbprint with a tiny scoop  (1/4 tsp) of jam. Bake 15-17 minutes until lightly golden. Cool and drizzle with a powdered sugar icing. 

Powdered Sugar Icing
3/4c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp of vanilla bean paste (Paste is great, it has bean flecks in it!)

Stir to a smooth consistency. If you find it is too thick, add a little milk (1/4 tsp.) Too thin, add a teaspoon of sugar. Drizzle over cookies off the end of a spoon.