Swedish Meatballs

My family’s Christmas cookie

Taught to me by my aunt as a child, here follows my family’s favourite Christmas cookie. It’s not Christmas without them. You can use the same dough to make snowballs, formed around maraschino cherries for that classy touch.

Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen)

  • 1lb butter at room temperature (unsalted or salted)
  • 4 c. flour
  • 1/4c. white sugar
  • salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 egg whisked with 2 tbsp water
  • Chopped pecans
  • A jar of your favourite raspberry jam

Rub the butter into the flour. Stir in sugar and salt to taste. The mixture should be sandy and crumbly but should just form a ball when pressed and rolled together. Adjust the amounts of butter and flour if needed. Roll all the dough into balls. If they sit they will be easier to work for the next step.

With the ball in the center of your palm, use your thumb to make an indent and flatten the ball into a thumbprint cookie. Coat in the egg wash and cover with pecans.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes until JUST golden on the bottom. Catch them before they go too long. You will need to use the back of a spoon to make the thumbprint again. My favourite raspberry jam in Ireland is Follain’s No Sugar version. A batch takes me about 2/3 of a jar. Spoon in raspberry jam while still hot. Enjoy!

Note: Baking in Ireland I find the butter has higher fat content and the flour lower protein. To compensate, I use a 50-50 ratio of strong flour to all-purpose flour. This helps the cookie’s crumble.

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