Kolasnittar (Swedish Toffee cookies)

Toffee Cookies….the first time I read about this I can totally imagine it would taste delicious!

I had been reading up on the Swedish tradition – Fika – and everything that goes with it. I started with Kanelbullar, of course, as cinnamon rolls are a favorite in our home.

Next up are these cookies. I love chocolate chip cookies but am always up to try something new, specially when it is traditionally eaten with COFFEE!

This cookie did call for an unusual pair of ingredients, vanilla sugar and Tumma Siirappi, a dark syrup used in Swedish baking. Off to the internet I went searching for a local source of these items. Of course, I can’t find it. I then tried searching for a seller that would ship it to me. And I found one, luckily!

It took a few weeks after receiving the syrups and sugar before I found time to try making the cookies. They were absolutely worth the wait!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons Dan Sukker “Tumma Siirappi”dark syrup
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Homemade Vanilla Sugar: You can use a new vanilla pod or one that you’ve already scraped off the seeds from. Just place the pod into a container of granulated sugar and let it sit for a week or so. Stir occasionally. And there you have homemade vanilla sugar!

*I ordered the dark syrup – Dan Sukker Tumma Siirappi – and vanilla sugar, from Al Johnsons Swedish Restaurant and Butik (https://aljohnsonsshop.com). It tastes mildly of molasses and honey but not quite the same. I highly recommend trying the real syrup before substituting something else. My son said the cookies remind him of really good cookie dough, while my coworker insists on tasting ginger in the cookie….and I really think the syrup played a part in those flavor profiles.

1. Line 2 large baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

2. In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter,

3. And granulated sugar.

4. Beat in vanilla,

5. egg yolk,

6. and dark syrup until blended.

7. Add in the flour,

8. baking soda,

9. and salt and beat until well mixed.

10. Cover the bowl and refrigerate about 30 minutes or until firm enough to divide into 6 equal parts to roll into logs.

11. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F.

12. Roll each part into a log about 9 – 10 inches long on the prepared baking sheets, 3 per sheet.

13. Leave at least a 2 – 3 inch space between the logs as they will spread quite a bit.

14. Bake logs for about 12 – 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

15. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. If the logs have touched each other during baking, take a long sharp knife and gently push them back, keeping them oval.

16. While still warm, and using a long sharp knife, cut the logs into diagonal slices about an inch apart. After cutting, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar)

Have you ever seen a Swedish Cinnamon Bun? I mean, we love the cinnamon buns/sticky buns I regularly make(with raisins and pecans!), but Kanelbullar is like a little, round, braided babka. It is just so pretty that I vowed to make it at home one day so we can have/eat/devour as much as I want.

I bought a couple of “Fika” cookbooks to figure out how to make it and learned along the way that “fika” is the essential coffee break that Swedish people take. A time to reconnect with friends, or a little “me” time, over coffee and some little snack. I do wish we take our breaks as seriously as they did. They have a lot of little delicious looking morsels to go with coffee and I do intend to bake my way through both cookbooks.

An instagram account I follow, The Invy Baker, makes these buns regularly for sale and I was always wishing he lived close by so that I could just order some every weekend morning.

I ordered the Pearl Sugar needed to top these beauty online since I couldn’t find it locally. After the sugar came it took me a the usual few more months to find time to actually make it. Time is always short, unfortunately!

As for making the sugar stick, I used maple syrup/pancake syrup instead of eggwash as I figured I will sprinkle the sugar after baking so that I’m sure it’ll retain the crunch and I just love maple syrup. I also added the ground almonds since the recipe posted by The Invy Baker had some in the filling.

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Ingredients for the dough:

1 1/4 cups water

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

100 grams unsalted butter, softened, cut into little cubes

Ingredients for the filling:

1/3 cup finely ground almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 1/2 tablespoons water

100 grams unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon maple/pancake syrup with a drop of vanilla extract

For the glaze/topping:

1/2 cup maple/pancake syrup mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pearl sugar

1. For the dough: In a Thermomix bowl or food processor, combine all the dough ingredients and mix for 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and well blended.

*If using a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and sugar in the bowl. Add in the flour, salt, cardamom, and butter and knead using the dough hook, until the dough is smooth, about 5-8 minutes.*

2. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours. Or you could also refrigerate it for 4-6 hours, up to overnight, if you need to.

3. For the filling: place all the ingredients in a food processor and whirl until combined.

4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 12 inch wide, 1/4 inch thick. Spread the filling to cover the entire dough evenly.

5. Fold 1/3 the dough up and the other 1/3 down, like folding a letter. Gently roll out the dough into a 12 inch long rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.

6. Cut the dough vertically into 1 cm strips, 12 inches long.

6. Roll the dough around your left 3 fingers 3 times and tuck the end in. Place on a large baking pan, tucked end down.

7. Let rise 1-2 hours, until puffy and about doubled in size.

8. Bake at 450F for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

9. Brush with syrup mixed with vanilla while hot and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar.

10. Serve warm and enjoy!