Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 13: Aunt Hanna’s Cookies

These cookies are an everyday Finnish cookie, that I decorate with green and red glazed cherries for the holidays (inspired by Beatrice Ojakangas’ suggestion in The Great Scandinavian Baking Book). They have become one of my favorite cookies, because they are not terribly sweet, and are a nice change from all the sugary treats around this time of year. Don’t let the glazed cherries put you off. They hold their shape while baking, but add a sort of a pleasant jammy texture to the cookie when you eat it. They are so pretty on a plate of cookies, particularly if you go for the otherworldly green cherries along with the red.

Aunt Hanna’s Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 11 green glazed cherries
  • 11 red glazed cherries
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Method:

  1. Cut the cherries into halves, and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. Leave to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, lightly whip the sugar and the cream together on medium speed, until it is the consistency of a thin batter and the sugar is mostly dissolved. Do not over-whip; you don’t need it to form peaks.
  4. Add the butter, and mix in. Add the vanilla extract, and mix in.
  5. Whisk the flours and baking soda together in a medium bowl.
  6. Sift the flour mixture into the cream mixture, and mix until it’s a smooth, thick dough. Refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll into balls, at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Roll pieces of the dough into 1-inch balls, and place on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Press half a cherry into the center of each cookie.
  9. Bake for 8 minutes, until just lightly colored and firm.
  10. Remove from the sheet to a rack to cool.

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