I might have already mentioned this, but when I lived in London (and before I got promoted) I would bake something for my office almost as often as every other week. I loved doing it, and when there are only five of you it’s much easier. It’s also very appreciated and a sure way to get compliments – even if your baking doesn’t always deserve that much praise!
So when I was finally going to get to see my old colleagues in London the other weekend I wasn’t going to turn up empty-handed. I thought about what I wanted to bring them, and thought that biscuits would be what travelled best. I was tempted by cinnamon buns, especially since cinnamon bun day wasn’t too far away, but decided that they would probably get completely smashed in the suitcase and that biscuits were a safer option.
Now I couldn’t just make one kind of biscuits – as we know from my previous biscuit posts which explain the Swedish tradition of seven types of biscuits – but, though I would have loved to have been able to bring my friends seven kinds of biscuits, seven felt a bit much. So I settled on three.
Then came the issue of what do I make? The first thing that popped into mind was chokladsnittar, a lovely, crisp, chocolate biscuit topped with pärlsocker (pearl sugar). I also knew I wanted to make something with cinnamon, where I didn’t want the chokladsnittar and the cinnamon biscuits to be too similar I set to Googling and found a recipe for what turned out to be fantastic cinnamon biscuits. Really.
Lastly I was considering making the hallongrottor. I’ve made them for work before and know that they like them, but then I changed my mind. S and I had just watched the Great British Bake Off biscuit episode (I make him download them for me and we watch them together when he’s here on the weekends) and they’d made Viennese whirls. I’ve never made biscuits with that type of dough, so it made me curious to try. However, I didn’t think that two biscuits sandwiched together and filled with jam and icing would last the flight – so instead I made another type of piped biscuit I remember from when I was little; a Strassburgare. It’s made using the same dough as a Viennese, but often dipped in chocolate, or maybe with a small filling of jam – like the hallongrotton. I chose the chocolate.
Now the cinnamon and chocolate biscuits made it over to London without a glitch, but I hadn’t quite accounted for the Strassburgare’s brittle texture. When I opened my bag that evening half of them had disintegrated into crumbs. They still tasted nice, but it was quite a disappointment not to be able to present the sweet little biscuits the way they looked the night before.
Though this post is technically about all of the biscuits, I’ll only post the recipe for the cinnamon ones here. The other two will come later in the days to follow (and in shorter posts).
Ingredients (ca 30 biscuits depending on size)
125 g soft butter
250 ml brown sugar
50 ml syrup
500 ml flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 pinch salt
white sugar (for rolling)
Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the syrup and the egg.
Combine the dry ingredients and add to the butter mix. Cover with cling-film and leave in the fridge for 30-40 minutes.
Make little balls of the dough and roll in the white sugar.
Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes.
The cinnamon biscuits went without a glitch, and I think (since I’ve never made them before) they turned out just like they should. The chocolate and Strassburgare though – not so much.
First I had a mishap with my dough for the chocolate biscuits. I don’t know if the butter was too hot or whatever, but it wouldn’t roll out. Technically it’s supposed to be baked in two or three ‘rectangles’ and then diagonally cut just as they come out of the oven to create little parallelogram shapes. But mine just wouldn’t cooperate, so I rolled them into little balls which I flattened slightly with my palm before baking.
Then I had to completely change the shape of my Strassburgare. If to be dipped in chocolate, they’re usually piped with a star-tip in a compacted, swirly, several s:s shape (Google it and you’ll see what I mean) but when I was going to pipe them out the seams of my piping bag burst open! I don’t know if it was just bad quality or if the dough was slightly too solid – but when I changed over to one of my disposable plastic piping bags it came out smoothly. Unfortunately this meant I lost the star shape, so I decided to pipe them round instead.
Either way, my colleagues were delighted with my visit and my biscuits, and I hope they weren’t just being nice to me!