Finnish Teaspoon Cookies (Lusikkaleivät)

(Finnish Teaspoon Cookies (Lusikkaleivät))

While making these Finnish cookies the other day, I was reminded of the butter cookies of my childhood. It’s funny to think about it now, but when we were growing up, there was nothing more chic than receiving a gift of store-bought Danish butter cookies in their trademark round blue tin. Each type of cookie was stacked in little paper cups and my favourites were the plain round ones studded with very dry, chewy currants and a piped cookie topped with granulated sugar.

I was never really good at pacing myself when it came to munching cookies, so if you were in the house at the time, you may have caught me making many sneaky trips into the kitchen to pinch just one more snack from the tin. And if you were really clever (unlike me), you’d take a different cookie each time so the stacks of cookies always appeared unchanged, thus preventing you from getting into trouble for pilfering.

But I never was wily enough in that regard. Instead, I resolved to learn how to bake, so I could eat more cookies!

These Finnish teaspoon cookies are as homely looking as they are memorable. Very, in both regards. Make a batch of these and sneak at least one from the kitchen per day.

Finnish Teaspoon Cookies (Lusikkaleivät) :
(makes 4 dozen cookies; the measurements are in US cup measures; from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas)

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg yolk
strawberry jam [I used cherry jam]
icing sugar

In a small heavy saucepan, brown the butter over medium to low heat until it is a pale tan colour. Cool. Pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda and gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir until the mixture is uniformly crumbly. Blend in the egg yolk and knead until dough is smooth.

Preheat oven to 160’C. To shape a cookie, press dough firmly into a teaspoon. Tap side of spoon onto a lined baking sheet to gently remove the shaped cookie. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until just barely browned. Allow to cool right on the baking sheet.

Spread jam on the flat side of each cookie. Add a second cookie to form an almond-shaped sandwich. Using a sieve, dust the cookies with powdered sugar. The flavor improves after the cookies have been stored at least 2 days, and they can be frozen.

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  1. leaf (the indolent cook) said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    I remember those butter cookies from my childhood too! Never had teaspoon cookies, though, but they look very charming. 🙂

  2. Esz said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    They look very moreish!

    I must find out the difference between US cup measures and ours (they are different aren’t they?)

  3. Rosa said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    Those are awesome cookies! I really like their unique shape. A wonderful teatime treat.



  4. InTolerantChef said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    I love the rustic look to these cookies. I bet they taste great too!

  5. Sanjeeta kk said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    Oh these cookies are so simple and lovely to bake! I love the teaspoon idea and the almond shapes. Thanks for twitter that I followed a tweet from Jamie and came here 🙂 Lovely blog.

  6. My Little Expat Kitchen said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    I loved (and still do) those Danish cookies in the round tin cans. They are addictive. If your Finnish cookies are anything like them, I’m gonna be in trouble. I can’t restrain myself.

  7. Karinvd said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Oh, I know those tins. I think my grandmother used to have them all the time. They contained lovely cookies indeed, very buttery and sweet.

    Your versions look wonderful too!

  8. Hannah said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Teehee, your childhood cookie pilfering is like my childhood cooking-chocolate-chips pilfering. Yes, childhood…

    These look so simple and wonderful – just right for a taste of nostalgia!

  9. Laura said,

    June 12, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    Interesting method for these cookies. They look so delicious, I will have to try. I have fond memories of sweet things that came in tins, and had my favorites too.

    Happy baking!

  10. Emma said,

    June 13, 2011 @ 12:27 am

    Oh, the blue Danish cookie tins !! I had forgotten about these, but I used to love them mega a lot. Royal Dansk? I like the ones shaped like pretzels best.

    I haven’t made this particular cookie out of Beatrice’s book, but it just skyrocketed to the top of my to-bake list!

  11. Moya said,

    June 13, 2011 @ 1:00 am

    haha, I remember those Danish cookies too, my favourite were the sugar crystal coated ones and then the buttery ones and then…oh hell I ate the LOT! These teaspoon cookies sound delicious!

  12. chocolatesuze said,

    June 13, 2011 @ 1:06 am

    lols my parents always wondered why i was never hungry when it came to dinner time.. i like the sound of these biscuit just by looking at the butter and sugar ratio haha

  13. Anh said,

    June 13, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    🙂 I am not much of a cookies person (I know, I know!). But my MIL can totally eat dozens of cookies instead of dinner!

  14. jas (gluten free scallywag) said,

    June 13, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    these look like such sweet cookies – I can’t wait to try them!

  15. the caked crusader said,

    June 13, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    These are beautiful – I love the idea of using the teaspoon to shape them, and this then being their name. Simple and stunning.

  16. Caitlin said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 12:27 am

    Oh, I love cookies like these. Cute, little, and perfect.

  17. Julia @ Mélanger said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    So much nicer than those cookies in the trademark blue tin!

  18. Jun said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    It’s so lovely!!! Have to make this!!!

  19. Lori said,

    June 14, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

    I also had those Danish cookies … in early childhood a treat, fast became the ubiquitous Christmas present. I loved the way they smelled when you first open the tin. Memories of them make me happy because it reminds me of the days as children when one is so easily excited. Now we’re jaded adults and need 10 course degusations laced with truffle crack to get one-tenth the buzz of a tin of cheap biscuits …

  20. Y said,

    June 15, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Lori : So true, but truffle crack still has it’s moments.. 🙂

  21. grace said,

    June 16, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    one cookie a day? i laugh. my m.o. is more like one cookie an hour. 🙂

  22. mademoiselle délicieuse said,

    June 21, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

    Those Danish cookies are the butter cookies of my childhood too! And very popular as Chinese New Year’s gifts. My favourite started off being the plain piped one but changed to being the (dry) currant one as I got older.

  23. Helene said,

    June 23, 2011 @ 2:18 am

    These are awesome. First time I see these cookies.

  24. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said,

    July 16, 2011 @ 12:07 am

    We always got those butter cookies for Christmas. I loved the granulated sugar ones shaped like a pretzel but I would have swapped you as I didn’t like the raisin ones 😛

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