Swedish Chocolate Butter Cookies and a Winter Cardinal

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Thank goodness for cardinals. With the color scheme of January being grey with grey, cardinals really cheer the world up. This fellow is all fluffed up against the cold winter winds.

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I love the way the sunlight comes through his peaked hat! I keep learning lessons from birds, one of which is: be who you are!

I’ve gotten back to my old, bad habit of riffling through cookie cook books, and found this recipe for Swedish Chocolate Butter Cookies in 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble, and Savor by Elinor Klivans. It’s a melt-in-your-mouth shard of a cookie with a deep cocoa flavor. Give it a try!

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Swedish Chocolate Butter Cookies

IMG_25491-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
7 ounces ((1-3/4 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder

1 egg white, slightly beaten with a fork
additional sugar for sprinkling
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

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This is what I used.

Beat the softened butter with the sugar and the vanilla until light and fluffy. Blend in the cocoa powder. Scrape down the bowl, and add the flour, beating just until mixed.

Divide the dough into four parts. Roll each part into a twelve-inch long log. Place two logs on one sheet and pat out so each log is about 1-3/4″ across. Brush each strip with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle with some sugar and the sliced almonds.

Bake for about 11 minutes. They will puff up and then settle down. Let them cool a bit, and then slice into 1-inch wide angled strips. Cool completely.

Baking notes: The original recipe called for using two 18 x 12 inch baking sheets, which I don’t have, and then rolling the dough into 16″ long logs. This just wasn’t going to happen, so I used my regular cookie sheet (15 x 13″), and rolled the logs to only 12″ and then patted them to 1-3/4″ across. This worked fine, and should work for most cookie sheets. Be sure to soften the butter, and to measure the flour carefully. Would it matter if you used regular baking cocoa? Dutch processed-cocoa is darker in color and deeper in flavor than regular baking cocoa. It’s also less acidic, but I don’t see any reason why regular cocoa wouldn’t work. Also, the original recipe called for using 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar. You are welcome to add the additional one tablespoon sugar, but I don’t think it would make a big difference.

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Peace to you. Fran

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