December 17, 2021 At the Table
At the Table: Cathe + Suzanne Fonzi
Our Operations Manager Suzanne and her mom Cathe shared one of their favorite holiday traditions: baking Sandbakkels, a Norwegian, shortbread-like holiday cookie!
By Suzanne Fonzi
Why this recipe is special:
Cathe: Growing up, my maternal grandmother used to come over to our house to bake these with my sisters and my mom. We always loved baking with her. Her recipes were always a bit sparse on the details—things like put it in until it “feels right” or “you have a good dough”—so when she got older, my sister Nancy and I tried to take notes as we baked with her to make sure we could keep the tradition going.
Suzanne: I have fond memories of making these together every holiday season growing up and have always loved the buttery, almondy Scandinavian cookies that were always in our annual rotation. I’ve grown to appreciate them even more as an adult since I don’t have my own set of Sandbakkel tins yet, they’ve become a part of visiting my parents.
Sand Bakkels (~4 dozen)
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp cream
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 egg
- 2 ½ cups sifted flour
- Ideally an hour or two before you begin, you’ll set out your butter to soften to room temperature gradually. If time is short, you can soften in the microwave.
- When your butter is well on it’s way to soft, you’ll want to sift your powdered sugar and your flour into separate bowls. Though sifting isn’t strictly necessary with modern ingredients, we’ve found that because these measurements were written for ingredients that did require sifting, the measurements are more accurate when you do the same! We like to go ahead and sift the flour as well at this point.
- Next, you’ll want to mix your sifted powdered sugar, softened butter, cream, almond extract, and egg with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Then you can add the flour in ½-cup increments, mixing thoroughly before adding more. Mix until everything is incorporated.
- Cover and chill the dough in your refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350°.
- Take a spoonful of dough and roll into a small ball about 1-in in diameter. Then press into your tin until you have an even 1/16-in layer.
- Place your filled tins on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, removing before the edges get too golden brown.
- Remove your tins from the cookie tray and place on a cooling rack until cool enough to handle. As soon as they are cool enough to touch (it gets a bit tougher if they cool too much), turn the tins over and tap or lightly squeeze the cookies out.
- Serve with coffee and enjoy! If you want to serve them in the traditional way (or at least Grandma Anna’s way), you can say “vaer så god,” meaning “there you go!”