Mandel Kakor (Swedish Almond Butter Cookies)

Emma here. Let me begin saying that you really can’t go wrong with butter, flour, and sugar. Butter especially. That is really all the delicious morsels in this post are. They are my grandma’s recipe, and she makes them every Christmas. No one in our family can wait an entire year between each batch of Mandel Kakor, so we make them sporadically throughout the year on our own. They are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or mug of hot cocoa and lovely for dipping. I always forget how good they are and get a wonderful surprise with the first bite. The secret ingredient that brings out such good flavor is the almond extract, which unfortunately makes them quite a pricey treat.

Mandel Kakor Recipe:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 oz almond extract

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 egg beaten

Swedish pearl sugar or cake decorating sprinkles (My mom insists on white nonpareils)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat at medium high speed until light. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat well. Add almond extract and heavy cream. Mix well.

3. Turn dough out and work into a ball. Cut into four portions and shape each into a ball. Flatten each ball into a four inch circle. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

4. Place dough rounds onto baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg. Sprinkle pearl sugar on top.

5. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and decrease temperature to 300 F.

6. Cut each round into 6-8 slices, then cut each slice in half except for short ends.

7. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes for crispier cookies (like biscotti) or 10 minutes for chewier cookies (my personal favorite).

Makes about 70 cookies.