she who keeps this diary

19 December 2005 - 11:58 AM

Sweet Dreams

Drömmar are sort of a Swedish answer to shortbread; crisp buttery things at their best with coffee. The name translates as 'dreams' though I don't know what the origin is. Are these are the sort of cookies you might dream about? Is it that they resemble pleasant dreams? I have no idea. They're pretty good cookies, though, and easy to make. This recipe should make about 4 dozen little golden dreams:

1 cup butter (unsalted)
1 1/8 cup sugar
2 cups flour (all-purpose, sifted)
1 tsp baker's ammonia
1 tsp vanilla extract (use the good stuff)

Cream the butter; add sugar and cream thoroughly.

Beat in the sifted flour, baker's ammonia, and vanilla.

Put in refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight, or a couple of nights), then shape into small balls and bake in a slow oven (300 F) for 12-15 minutes.

If one wishes to be fancy, one may decorate the top of each cookie with a blanched almond. This is not essential, however.

A note on baker's ammonia (aka ammonia salt, hartshorn, et alia: it's a chemical leaven, like baking powder. There's some useful writeup on it at The Cook's Thesaurus (nice website, by the way, quite useful). It can be ordered from the King Arthur Flour Company's baking catalogue or other similar places.

If, like me, you are somewhat put off by the DANGER: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN label on the can of baker's ammonia, you can substitute an equal amount of regular double-acting baking powder. While hypothetically this might not yield as light and crisp a result as the baker's ammonia, it's also less likely to leave your cookies with any residual ammonia fragrance, require you to store dangerous items out of reach of children, and honestly, my cookies are usually plenty light and crisp enough for anyone I know. The trick is to make them small enough. That dough recipe is enough to make 4 dozen. Really. Make 'em small.

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