Whenever I stayed at my uncle's house as a child my brothers and I ate cookies before breakfast. We did this every single morning. It was part of our morning routine. We sneaked into the kitchen, opened the drawer that was on the very right corner of the kitchen where my uncle stores his pots and pans and we took cookies from a large square shaped cookie tin that was black and decorated with beautiful flowers on the lid. My uncle always stored Bondkakor in this particular black cookie tin. No other kinds of cookies. Other types of cookies were stored in a different drawer but we always chose Bondkakor. I cannot tell you why we never switched up our "before breakfast cookies"; perhaps we loved these cookies so much. While munching on Bondkakor my brothers and I (most of the time I was only allowed to watch because you know I was a girl) made little wood sailboats which they let sail on a lake in the afternoons; of course I was, again, only allowed to watch.
Whenever I eat Bondkakor which are still one of my very favorite Swedish cookies I have to think about the fun mornings that I spent with my brothers at my uncle's house.
Like many Swedish cookies Bondkakor are crunchy cookies - neither soft nor chewy - with a hint of caramel that pairs so well with the roasted almonds. Bondkakor are a classic and a favorite among many Swedes. The name Bondkakor derives from the word bonde which means farmer, kakor is the plural for cookies (kaka is singular in case you are wondering). So Bondkakor can be translated as farmer cookies in English.
NOTES: I tried different ways to make these cookies. I rolled out the dough and cut out cookies in order to get a perfect round shape. I rolled out the dough in different thicknesses. I was experimenting with the baking time of the cookies. I was also experimenting with the amount of water that I added to the cookie dough. I came to the conclusion that the cookies taste the very best when not rolled out but made into a log and slice the cookies. The amount of water that is used in the dough makes a difference as well. If the dough is a tiny bit crumbly the dough is " perfect" in my opinion.
In Swedish baking syrup is a very common ingredients. The syrup is made of 100 % cane sugar (no additives). There is dark syrup which is often added to bread and there is light syrup which is used for baking. I use this brand, but organic, which is the most common one in Sweden. You can substitute Swedish syrup with golden syrup or light corn syrup. You might even replace it with maple syrup which I have not tried out yet. If you live in Germany you can replace syrup with Zuckerrübensirup.
Please do not omit the syrup or replacement because this gives the cookies the hint of caramel that makes the cookies so delicious.
Makes about 35 cookies
- 50 g / 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon lukewarm water
- 100 g / 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 75 g / 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 25 g / 1 heaped tablespoon light syrup
- 200 g / 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F.
- Place almonds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast almonds for 5 to 7 minutes until the almonds have a golden brown color. Let the almonds cool, then chop the roasted almonds.
- Dissolve baking soda in one teaspoon lukewarm water.
- Whisk butter and sugar until creamy, Add syrup and whisk until well combined.
- Add flour, chopped almonds and baking soda water and stir until the dough comes together.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and form dough into a log, 4-5 cm / 1.5 -2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap. The dough is a little bit crumbly but do not worry.
- Refrigerate dough for at least one hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice cookie log into 3 mm / 0.1 inch thin slices with a sharp knife. Place cookies onto baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes until the cookies have a tan or light brown color.
- Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.
- Store the cookies in a cookie tin or in an air-tight container up to one month.