Thanks for all of your interest in helping me recreate an old cookie of Grandma D.’s. Last year I embarked on a search for a lost recipe: a traditional Norwegian cookie that my late grandmother used to make. She would bake these cookies–shaped into an untraditional parallelogram–each year before Christmas and we’d keep a tin of them wrapped tightly in the refrigerator. My mom asked Grandma for the recipe years ago, but for some reason we never got it. Not knowing the original name, I was stuck searching the entire wide world of Scandinavian butter-style cookies until a couple of you offered clues. Thanks to the tips Oda and Jo left in the comments of my initial post, I’m exploring one type of Norwegian cookie for now: sandnøtter.
Sandnøtter are made with potato flour, which gives the cookies a delicate, somewhat sandy crumb. It’s fitting, therefore, that their name translates to sand nuts. (The Italian torta sabbiosa–sandy cake–is also made with potato flour.)
Here’s a photo of my first batch of sandnøtter. As you can see, the base darkened much more rapidly than desired, perhaps due to the hot oven (410 degrees Fahrenheit) the recipe called for. The cookies also rose more than Grandma’s did, although my mom says Grandma made hers flatter than the original version called for, so we might still be on the right track.
Sandnøtter are often made with hjortetakksalt (ammonium bicarbonate, also known as hartshorn or hornsalt), but since I didn’t have any on hand I chose a recipe without it. Could that make a difference? Maybe. I’ll try to track some down.
The final essential part of my search is finding a recipe that replicates the flavor of Grandma’s cookies. These aren’t quite right, but I’ll give another sandnøtter recipe a try. I hope you’ll keep following along as I continue my search!