Swedish Countess Cookies
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Cognac (optional, NOTE: we used vanilla extract, and it tastes wonderful)
Shaved chocolate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease some baking sheets.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffly and white (about 5 minutes).
Add the sugar and continue to beat.
Add flour a little at a time.
Add the Cognac, or vanilla extract, if using, and mix well.
Pinch off a piece of dough about the size of an egg. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle the work surface with a little flour.
Place the piece of dough on the work surface. With your palms, roll the dough back and forth to form a rope of dough about as thick as your finger.
Using your fingers, start at one end and flatten the dough to form a strip about 1 1/4 inches wide.
Cut the dough on the diagonal into 2 1/2-inch-long strips. They should be diamond-shaped.
Slip a knife blade under the dough and transfer to a greased baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used.
Sprinkle a little shaved cocolate over each cookie, if desired.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies should not be brown, but should remain an off-white color.
Pairs Well With
This is a favorite of my family's from the wonderful Southern cook, Paula Deen. All credit goes to her on this one.
What she wrote before the recipe:
"This recipe was found in a handwritten Swedish cookbook, dated about 1864, belonging to Countess Frida Af Tampe. This was said to be her favorite cookie. Ingrid Albertzon Parker, who is Swedish, took the time to translate this recipe into American measurements. I had the pleasure of having Ingrid come into my kitchen one afternoon to teach me the art of making these buttery little morsels. They were really very simple to make. The optional Cognac and shaved chocolate were added by Ingrid."