Finnish Ribbon Cookies are dainty little butter cookies that get filled with gourmet jams and drizzled with a citrus-y glaze. These are the perfect pretty little bites to have on your plate with your tea or coffee, and I have never met a soul that could stop at eating just one.
If you are in a baking frenzy right about now, like I was last night, and need one more petite addition to complete your gifts of goodies, try this one. The dough preparation is like any other butter cookie.
After you have made the dough, simply scoop out a small hand full of dough, and roll it into a log between your hands at first and then on the cookie sheet until it is the length of your sheet. It may be frustrating if the dough is crumbly. If it’s just not sticking together, I give you permission to add 1-2 tablespoons more of butter and mix it in.
Remember those good old preschool days when you would roll the Playdoh into little snakes and long, long ropes for no better reason than for the fun of it? Do this just like in preschool. Don’t make it try to look right or even think about it at all. Just get all zen like and feel the dough and roll it out into a long rope that fits on your cookie sheet. Then get your index finger and lightly press a crater down the middle of the entire rope. See? Leave the very ends with a lip or little tiny wall so that the jam won’t ooze out the ends later when you are baking it.
I fit two long ropes on my cookie sheets and baked them at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly puffed up and looking almost done. While they are baking, get out your favorite two or three homemade or gourmet jams (seedless is preferred) and place 1/4 c. of each jam in its own small microwavable bowl. Microwave the jams for about 15 seconds to smooth them out and use a spoon to stir them up a bit. When the cookies are not looking like dough anymore and are beginning to look a little golden, it’s time for them to have a little baking break.
Take them out of the oven and spoon the jam down the crater of each log. One jam per log. Try not to over shoot the crater and land jam on or over the cookie walls. Put the cookies back in for anywhere from 7-10 minutes or until they are golden. Let them cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
To make the glaze, just beat sifted (I skip sifting if I am not feeling the Martha Stewart vibe) powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk together until smooth and drizzly. Drizzly’s a word—right? Use a small spoon and drizzle your icing in a zigzag patter over the cookie log; back and forth until you get to the other end of the rope. Then repeat, going the opposite direction. See? I am such a neat and tidy baker…all of my icing is dripping everywhere and in the end they turned out beautifully so don’t fret. These are NOT fret-able cookies. Anyhow, now simply use a smooth, sharp knife and cut cookies in 1/2 inch widths at a slant for the pretty factor. After all, I am NOT a barbarian.
Please, I beg of you to make a nice cup of tea or coffee and give yourself the first two off the sheet. Take care of the baker, and he or she will continue to bake on and share with everyone else. Please have a wonderful holiday and enjoy those around you! Or, as my husband likes to say, “Happy Chrahanawanza!”. I know there are several wonderful holidays that don’t fit into that nifty slogan, but there is a reason he has not been hired by Nike for their ad campaigns.
Finnish Ribbon Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen.
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. lemon zest
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. of your favorite jam, preferably seedless
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cookie sheets either with parchment paper or Silpat nonstick mats.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat together on medium speed the butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla and lemon zest and cream together on medium until combined. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Pour 1/2 of the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Pour in the last 1/2 of the dry ingredient and mix again until combined.
If the dough is crumbly, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of softened butter and mix together. Take scoops (handfuls) of dough and form them first into a ball and then begin to roll in between your hands to form long ropes. Once the rope is getting too long to roll in your hands, place on a cookie sheet and roll with your hands until the rope is almost as long as your pan.
Press your index finger down the middle to form a crater or canal down the middle. Bake for 10 minutes on 350. Take out and spoon jam into the groove, then return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool slightly and then drizzle with the glaze and cut into diagonal strips.