As the days get shorter and colder, it is nice to bake. Today, I decided to make a shortbread type cookie. The original recipe was called "Finnish Coffee Fingers". It closely resembles a recipe in Beatrice Ojakangas' "The Finnish Cookbook" called Suomalaiset Puikot. She notes that this type of cookie is one of the oldest types in Finland.
In reading through the recipe, the amounts of certain ingredients seemed odd -- for example, 7/8 cup of butter or 2 5/8 cup of flour? Perhaps the recipe used metric measurements and it was converted to cups and teaspoons? I decided to round the butter up to a full cup. The next curious thing was the six bitter almonds that were to be grated. Since I had no source for bitter almonds specifically, I decided I would use about two tablespoons of ground, regular almonds.
As I added the flour, the dough became very stiff and crumbly -- not surprising for a shortbread. I ended up using 2 1/4 cups flour. If I had added more, the dough would have become too dry and unworkable. And the "bake until golden brown"? I estimate that to be about 14 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit.
The final product? A faintly sweet shortbread cookie with a pleasant almond taste from the ground almonds on the top. Nice and crisp from all the butter! :) Would be a nice addition to the "coffee table". I think next time I will try Beatrice Ojakangas' version -- her recipe has an egg in the batter, more sugar, and uses almond extract instead of ground or grated almonds.
The Revised Recipe: Suomalaiset Puikot or Finnish Coffee Fingers
1 cup unsweetened butter, softened
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons finely ground almonds
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Topping -- 1 beaten egg and 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
Cream butter and then gradually add the sugar, and 2 Tablespoons of ground almonds. Gradually add the flour, mixing after each new addition of flour. Form into a ball and chill for one to two hours. After chilling the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and line cookie sheets with baking parchment paper. Roll the dough out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch in thickness. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches long. Brush each cookie with beaten egg and roll in the ground almonds. Place on the parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
The Original Recipe: Finnish Coffee Fingers
source: Recipes and Finnish Specialties, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Gloucester, MA
7/8 c. butter
2 tbsp sugar
6 bitter almonds, grated
2 5/8 c. flour, sifted
Coating: beaten egg
1/4 ounce almonds, finely chopped
Cream butter, gradually add sugar, almonds; then flour and chill for 1 to 2 hours. Roll out to finger thickness, cut into strips about 2 in. long, brush with beaten egg, roll in almonds, place on baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown.