Suzi's Blog

Raspberry Swirls from Nordic Bakery Cookbook

I am sorry about the quality of the picture above. I had two perfect cookies to photograph. They were just here. And now I cannot find them. I would ask Suzen to help me search, but you have no idea what that would entail.

“You ate them all? Yourself?” That’s how she’d begin. It’s the next thing to being strapped in a chair with bright lights punching into your eyeballs. She’s relentless until she secures a confession.

You’re going to get married? Make sure you read that contract. Apparently I agreed to a marriage under French law: guilty until proven innocent.

And how can I prove it? I have no idea where the damn cookies are. I have no clear recollection of eating them. There, I said it.

I’m a bit picky here because I made these cookies thinking Suzen would love them.

“Not my thing,” she said. I was devastated. I think she had a cookie-deprived childhood. I didn’t.

Well, to confirm my opinion, I had two of her culinary advisors give me their expert verdict. At Suzen’s Cooking by the Book events, a party group is divided into teams and each team has their personal chef or culinary advisor as they prepare one dish of a complete meal the whole team will share.. The advisors are pros. Very skilled with years of cooking experience. So, I approached the two who were bakers and had them sample the cookie.

“It’s very good,” the first one said. “You made this?” the second one asked. It’s been years and some of these people still don’t think I can do more than boil water.

This cookie makes you smile. I love it, because it reminds me of childhood treats from Portland, Oregon. The Pacific Northwest had a large immigrant population from Scandinavia and Germany. That baking style and culture is very distinctive. Less chocolate, actually, more fruit. Rich doughs.

That’s why when I saw the book Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mark, I just had to try it. I was filled with hope that my bakery memories and fantasies would be satisfied. And you know what, this time hope was achieved. The book is filled with  treats page after page, including 3 different cinnamon buns! For me, this is cookbook paradise. And, yes, I’ll be testing all of those cinnamon treats.

Finnish born Jali Wahlsten opened his dream bakery in London’s culinary melting pot. The SoHo bakery is a hit and this strong book shares some of the wonderful treats from a very talented team.

Can anything beat a pure butter cookie? I don’t think so. That simple, but rich flavor is a wonder. That’s what this cookie is: wonderful butter dough is chilled, then rolled out into a rectangle. Raspberry jam is spread over the rectangle, you roll it all up, slice, bake and enjoy.

Be careful not to overbake these cookies. You want the dough soft to the bite. Raspberry is, of course, just the starting flavor possibility. Any berry jam will work here. In fact, because of the contrast the dough offers, you could use pepper jelly. When I made these with Suzen, we actually combined jams from two different jars.

If you make these cookies, guard them well. They have tendency to disappear. Honestly, I have no idea what happened here!

Oh, one note. The dough is quite soft and may stick to the parchment paper when you try to remove the cookies. Have some patience, let them cool a bit longer, and then just remove them one at a time. If too many break, then you have no choice: bake more.

 

Raspberry Swirls

Yield: 25-50 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ⅔ cup up raspberry jam or marmalade
    • Confectioners’ sugar for dusking
    • -2-3 baking sheets, line with baking parchment

Preparation:

Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream it with a wooden spoon or handheld whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well.

Add the vanilla extract, flour, and baking powder and mix well to form a dough.

Roll into a ball, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface, with a rolling pin, until about 14×16 inches.

Spread the jam evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 -inch border around the edge. Roll the dough up from a long side. Cut into 1-inch rolls.

Arrange the rolls, cut-side down, on the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of space between them, as they will spread when they bake.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until just golden. Let cool a little before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Source: Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mark

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Raspberry Martini

 

“I don’t feel like a drink tonight,” Suzen said. It’s hot, she’s tired, and a bit over the edge.

“Taste it,” I said.

She sipped. She smiled. “Mine,” she said.

Success. It’s a night when I’m tired too, it’s still hot in the Northeast, and I want something quick and refreshing. I bought raspberries today intentionally to drink with. Tonight, I went to www.diffordsguide.com and quickly found the raspberry martini recipe below. It’s very quick, refreshing on a hot night, and pleasantly distinct.

If you have not tried the website at www.diffordsguide.com, you are missing a great opportunity. You can enter your ideas for a base liquor, drink style, bartender or ingredients [such as raspberries]. Press “Go” and voila you are rewarded with list of drink ideas.

Diffords comes from Simon Difford, mixologist extradinaire from the UK. Simon has Google alerts on, so he’ll see this post. Simon, thanks for this lovely drink idea. I do have one request. Can you come up with an idea for raspberries and gin? You have several for raspberries and vodka, but your gin queue is empty. I think, given your UK background, that is an oversight deserving of immediate remedy.

Raspberry Martini

Yield: 1 drink

Ingredients:

  • 10 raspberries
  • ½ shot of sugar syrup
  • 2 shots of cold vodka

Preparation:

Place the raspberries in the bottom of a stainless steel cocktail shaker and muddle. Add syrup and vodka, then ice. Shake until very chilled.

Pour and delight.

Source: www.diffordsguide.com