For starters I just want to apologise for the fact that you’ll be getting about five posts with the same picture in it – but I was too busy hosting to take good photos with my camera (these are from my phone). I promise I will wait a little before posting the others so you don’t have five posts in a row with just the same pictures!
A hallongrotta is another staple Swedish biscuit often found in cafés and during fika, and it literally means ‘raspberry cave’. In America they’d be called thumbprint cookies, but who wants a thumbprint when they can have a cave?
It’s made out of a dough which is – if not the same – very similar to a shortbread biscuit, only we call it mördeg, mör meaning either tender or short. In Sweden we like to do something extra with our shortbread biscuits though, so we often add something to them – jam, cocoa powder, coloured sugar (which is a Brysselkex and which I made as well and will be adding a recipe for later) – instead of serving them plain like the Brits and Scots do.
The best thing about a shortbread dough is that even if you’re not a huge fan of baking, you probably already have the ingredients at home. However, to make hallongrottor you’ll also need little mini muffin-cases. These keep the dough in place without having to chill them before baking – and it means they stay quite nice and high. I have tried making them without the cases and it just wasn’t the same.
Ingredients (makes about 20)
100 ml sugar
450 ml flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
firm raspberry jam
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl. (If you’re using vanilla essence – don’t add it yet.)
Cut room tempered butter into small pieces and add to the flour mix. Quickly work together into a dough. (Add vanilla essence with the butter.)
I then recommend leaving this dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes just because it’s easier to work with if chilled.
Cut the dough into 20 even-sized pieces and roll into balls. Put the balls in the cases and push down with your thumb or finger to make a hollow, the fill this hollow with raspberry jam. The jam can’t be too runny.
Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes.
Hallongrottor is one of those biscuits that first; you can fill with almost anything (so far I’ve tried different flavoured jams, dulce de leche, lemon curd, etc., and second; you can make larger or smaller based on your personal preferences. If you want to make 10 muffin-like hallongrottor or 30 tiny ones, that’s no problem – just remember that the cooking time will differ and to keep an eye on them in the oven!