My mom has this Swedish book. It’s a cook book. A cook book devoted entirely to cookies and pastries. My mom made a joke that American cook books only have little sections in them dedicated to cookies, but in Sweden, they have whole books, lol. When it comes to cookies, Swedes know what’s up.
In Sweden, there’s a tradition where, if you’re inviting someone over for coffee time (fika), the mark of a good hostess is to provide 7 different kinds of cookies for your guests to choose from. Around Christmas time, one is expected to have at least 11 different kinds of cookies arranged on beautiful platters for all to enjoy. Isn’t it wonderful? This cookbook in Swedish is called “Sju Sorters Kakor”, which translates to “7 kinds of cookies”. So, there you have it—your cross-cultural lesson of the day.
This recipe comes from page 94 of this Swedish cookbook. (You can actually find it written in English now too, and you can even buy it on Amazon!).
It’s a classic cookie that has been around for a long, long time. Mamma had them as a child, and served them in our home for as long as I can remember. They are just too good not to share. It has a different name now than what we used to call them when I was little. We always called them “Choklad Pinnar”, which means “chocolate sticks”. The newer Swedish version calls them “Märtas Skurna Chokladkakor”, or “Marta’s Chocolate Slices”. I’ve tweaked it a little bit (mostly adding more chocolate ?), but for the most part, I stick to the original Swedish measurements and ingredients.
Enjoy this wonderful season of baking, my Friends!
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Marta’s Chocolate Slices (Choklad Pinnar)
- ¾ cup +2 TBSP (14 TBSP total) Butter, softened (200 grams)
- Scant 1 cup white Sugar (215 grams)
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs (save 1 for brushing)
- Scant 2 cups all-purpose Flour (260 grams)
- 6 TBSP Cocoa Powder (30 grams)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- Swedish Pearl Sugar (for decoration)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, 1 egg, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except for the pearl sugar). Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix it until you have a smooth ball of dough. Depending on how soft your butter is, you may want to refrigerate the dough for a little while to stiffen it up and make it easier to work with. If the dough isn’t too sticky, you can proceed with the next steps more easily.
Divide the dough into 4-6 equal parts (I usually do 4, but the original recipe says 6. It doesn’t really matter which you do).
Roll each section out with the palms of your hands, creating a “logs” that are roughly 12-14 inches in length. Place each log onto a greased cookie sheet.
Using your pointer finger and middle finger, start at one end of the log and firmly press it down, diagonally, so that you have a partially flattened oblong.
In a small cup, whisk an egg. Brush the egg over the flattened dough. Finally, sprinkle them with pearl sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes (I stick closer to 12 minutes because that yields deliciously soft cookies—we don’t love crunchy cookies in this home…lol).
Remove the pan from the oven, and while they are still warm on the cookie sheet, cut them diagonally, about 1 inch thick (This pastry scraper works great for this!). Using a spatula, gently slide the cut cookies onto a cooling rack.
Enjoy with a steaming cup of hot tea or coffee.