Visiting Finland means trying the best of Finnish food- including these adorable Finnish spoon cookies. A perfect holiday cookie recipe- celebrate Christmas the Finnish way! And if you are headed to Finland, don’t miss our 15 Things To Do In Finland With Kids post!
Guess what? Pura Vida Moms has been invited to Finland by Visit Finland and Finnair for an epic adventure through Helsinki and Lapland.
You’ll get to follow along for the next 10 days on social, and read all about our adventures in the coming months. And make sure to see below for a list of 7 other of our favorite travel bloggers who are joining me on the trip.
Also, if you are considering travel to Finland I’d definitely check out The Finnish Way– talks all about daily life in Finland and I loved it.
But- to celebrate this exciting invitation, I’m sharing with you my favorite Finnish food- Lusikkaleivat.
What Are Finnish Spoon Cookies?
Lusikkaleivat. Big word, right? It just means spoon cookies- and these cookies have been a staple at our house around Christmas time for years. Before I had kids, I used to cook easily over 10 types of Christmas cookies every year, and either gift them to my colleagues or my students.
One year, I did an international Christmas themed cookie baking extravaganza with a friend. She had come across this typical Finnish recipe. We made it together and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
What Are Some Other Traditional Finnish Food Dishes?
Since I’m heading, to Finland, I did a little bit of research on what kind of Finnish food I can expect to eat. There are all sorts of dishes I can’t wait to try, among them the Finnish squeaky cheese (which I really want to compare with traditional Costa Rican cheese!).
I am curious about everything made with rye flour- rye bread, rye crust, and bread cheese. And another Finnish dish I am excited to try is the rice porridge- I wonder if it’s similar to arroz con leche that we eat in Costa Rica?
I’ve heard Finns love berries- and I do get to go to a cloudberry farm in Lapland. Since I love berries too, I’m excited to try the cloudberry jam. Since we have Ikea here in Denver I’ve been able to try the lingonberry jam, which I used in this recipe. And who said blueberry pie?
Since I’m not going to the western part of Finland, I don’t know if I will get to try the Karelian pies- which remind me a bit of kolaches from the Czech heritage.
I’m not a huge fish fan to begin with, and the fried vendance (small whole fried fish) might not make it into my mouth. I’m a foodie, but not the most adventurous one.
I’m excited because we are also visiting a ton of Finnish restaurants that specialize not only in traditional Finnish food, but also some fusion dishes.
How To Make Finnish Spoon Cookies
Ok so back to the cookies. I love love love these cookies and I want to tell you why- including a preview to the recipe that involves a unique technique for making these cookies extra delicious.
First, I love them because they are not too sweet. The dough itself is a bit crumbly and reminds me of shortbread, but with a bit of a unique flavor.
I also love these cookies because they are small. They are like little bite-sized bits of joy. Traditionally these cookies are served sandwich style- two small cookies with a bit of jam between them.
But I am a food rebel, and I love to eat them open-faced. I mean, who can say no to twice the sweet jam? It’s a better jam to cookie ration for me, and I can justify eating double.
Plus, these cookies are super versatile- you can serve them with almost any type of jam in the world. When I first started making them, I was obsessed with the Bonne Maman raspberry jam with seeds, and that’s all I ate with these cookies.
Then, I discovered lingonberry jam at Ikea and that was a super fun traditional touch. I can’t wait to bring back traditional Finnish cloudberry jam to eat with our Finnish spoon cookies this Christmas.
Lately, I’ve been serving these up with tiny Ball jars filled with all kinds of different jams. For example, in our Air BnB some guests left behind a lemon curd, and I put some on these and it was beyond delicious. Or these might also be fun with an egg custard. Of course, you can always eat them plain, but what’s the fun in that?
The Secret Ingredient to This Cookie Recipe
Ok so now to my secret ingredient in these cookies- melted butter. It’s not uncommon at all to have melted butter as an ingredient in a cookie recipe, but these cookies take the melted butter to a whole new level.
That’s because in these Finnish cookies you melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 15 minutes. This makes the butter dark brown and have a slightly nutty flavor- and an incredible aroma. (It’s so delicious, I want an aromatizer with browned butter flavor!)
You also get a few little dark brown bits in the butter that carry through to the cookie dough, making the cookies have a bit more of a colorful texture than just plain old shortbread.
Ok- so that’s probably enough of the Finnish Spoon Cookie talk- you need the recipe already! We’re almost there.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3.4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- To serve: Fruit jam such as raspberry, blueberry, cloudberry or strawberry
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts to brown. You want to smell a bit of a nutty flavor, but you do not want this butter to burn! This will take about 15 minutes.
- Remove the butter from heat and put it in a separate bowl to cool. If you don't let it cool, when you add it to the dough it will cook your egg yolk and the cookies won't bind. Do not skip this step! I just put mine right into the stand mixer and put the mixing bowl into the fridge for a few minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder.
- Add the egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla into the browned butter and whisk. I do this in the stand mixer.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and mix until crumbly. This mixture should resemble wet sand- you need to be able to form it into the spoon cookies next. If it's too wet then add some flour a tablespoon at a time.
- Now you can heat your oven to about 325 Fahrenheit. You will need two baking sheets with parchment paper or reusable silicone liners - or you can spray them with vegetable oil.
- Using a large tablespoon/soup spoon, place the dough into the indented part and flatted it against your palm until you have a half-moon shape.
- Place the cookies onto the baking sheet. They won't expand so you can place them as close together as you need to.
- Bake for 11-16 minutes- until just brown. Cool on the baking sheet and then remove.
- To serve you can spread the flat side with jam or make a sandwich between two halves. For a sweeter taste, dust them with powdered sugar.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g
Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.
UPDATE: I’m back from the most amazing time in Finland! Here are some of my articles from the trip:
- 15 Things To Do In Finland With Kids
- Helsinki- Don’t Miss These Family Activities
- Santa’s Post Office and Northern Lights: Visit Rovaniemi
- Travel To Finland: The Ultimate Packing Tips
- Fly Finnair To Finland- Everything You Need To Know
Also- don’t forget to pin this recipe to save it for later.