Reading time: 5 min

Cookies that impress

th. s. Shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies with eggs. Butter.

Since the end of the 19th century, cookies have been an integral part of Swedish coffee parties. The classics are still popular to this day, but have been updated with new shapes, spices and fillings. In Sweden, cookies usually refers to a small, sweet and crumbly cake that is often made with shortbread pastry or dough.


Shortbread cookies
Shortbread is the basis of many cookies and consists of butter, flour and sugar. It produces a crisp cake that is customized with different flavorings, toppings and fillings. They are easy to vary, and the most common shortbread cookies are Brussels Biscuits, Checkerboards, Jam Cookies and Finnish Sticks.

Shortbread cookies with eggs
Shortbread pastry with eggs is preferable if you are going to roll the cookies, the eggs make the dough more elastic.

Butter
When you make shortbread cookies in your Ankarsrum, you should use soft butter, not refrigerator-cold or melted. Let the butter stand at room temperature for about an hour or thinly slice cold butter with a cheese grader.

If you prefer to use cold butter, we recommend that you mix the dough in the stainless-steel bowl with the roller.

Flour
Too much flour in the shortbread pastry will cause the cookie dough to be too crumbly to shape. To fix, add a little water or butter and quickly knead the dough.

Sugar
Some shortbread recipes specify caster sugar or powdered sugar. Choose icing sugar if you want slightly softer and more durable cookies, and caster sugar if you want them crunchier and crumbly.

Dough
Shortbread dough should be mixed for as short a time as possible to avoid it becoming overworked. Overworked cookie dough produces tough cookies instead of crisp ones.

With the a mixing bowl and cookie whisk, it only takes a few minutes to make cookie dough. Mix all the ingredients on low speed until you have fine crumb, increase the speed until it becomes a coarse crumb. Turn off the machine and gather the dough by hand, wrap in plastic and put in the fridge to rest.

Cold
Once the cookie dough is mixed, it should be wrapped in plastic and rest in the fridge.  Chilling the dough is important because cold butter will melt slower than room temperature butter as it bakes, ensuring the cookies don’t spread too much.  Cold dough is also easier to work with when shaping and rolling. Cookie dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Baking
In order for the cakes to bake evenly, it is important that all the cakes on the same tray are the same size. You can use a measure or weigh them. If you bake cookies in batches on the same baking sheet, you should let the baking sheet cool before placing a new cookie on it. If the tray is too hot when you do, you risk the cookies being baked unevenly.

Most cookies are best cooled on a wire rack.

If the cookies do not puff up as they should, it may be because the dough has been overworked or contains too much flour. If the cookies spread out too much, it is probably because the dough has too little flour or the dough is not fully chilled.

Storage
Baked cookies will keep in airtight containers at room temperature for up to two weeks or longer, depending on the ingredients of the cookies. Freeze for up to three months.

Leavening agent
Shortbread cookies are baked without added leavening agents, but some other cookies contain baking powder or baking soda. These leavening agents will need some form of liquid in the dough to work.

Cookies
American cookies are a relatively new feature on the Swedish coffee table, and they are often flavored with chocolate and nuts. They come in many different varieties, sizes and textures, but often have a soft chewy center and crunchy edges.

Piped cookies
With Ankarsrum´s cookie press attachment, you can pipe dough in four different patterns, which in turn can be shaped as desired.

Other cookies
Caramel slices, gingerbread cookies, peasant cookies and oat flakes are popular Swedish cookies. They have the same basic ingredients as shortbread, but different additions which produce different textures and flavors. For example, syrup gives a soft chewy texture, while certain leavening agents make the cookies airier and more crisp.

Freeze cookie dough
Cookie dough can be frozen up to 3 months.  Wrap in plastic and freeze the dough whole, as a roll, or as preformed cookies. When it´s time to bake, place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake without thawing them first.

___________________
Shortbread, basic recipe

200 g butter
270 g wheat flour
90 g sugar

Instructions:
1. Set the oven to 175 °C/357 °F. Line the tray with baking paper.
2. Assemble the assistant with beater bowl and cookie beaters.
3. Grate butter and mix with flour and sugar to a coarse comb. Gather up the dough and knead into a firm dough.
4. Wrap in plastic and put in the fridge to rest, at least half an hour.
5.  Shape into desired cookies.
6.  Bake in the middle of the oven, adjust the time to the size of the cookies (approx. 10-12 minutes) or until the cookies have a little color.
7. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

__________________
Shortbread with eggs, basic recipe

200 g butter
240 g wheat flour
135 g sugar
1 egg

Instructions:
1. Set the oven to 175 °C/357 °F. Line the tray with baking paper.
2. Assemble the assistant with beater bowl and cookie beaters.
3. Grate butter and mix with flour and sugar to a coarse comb.
4. Add eggs and mix together.
5. Gather up the dough and squeeze into a firm dough.
6. Wrap in plastic and put in the fridge to rest, at least half an hour.
7. Shape into desired cookies.
8. Bake in the middle of the oven, adjust the time to the size of the cookies (approx. 10-12 minutes) or until the cookies have a little color.
9. Leave too cool on a wire rack.

Good luck!