Maito Ja Hanna-Tädin Piparkakut (Milk and Cookies)
Spring has finally arrived in my little part of the world. I woke up this morning to the sounds of birds chirping merrily and the sun streaming through the cracks in the curtains, casting a lovely golden glow into the room. Ävälon had not yet woken and I had the pleasure of lazing about in bed for a while to contemplate the day and what food it might bring. Admiring the golden rays streaming through the curtains, I was reminded of the colour of just baked Hanna-tädin (Aunt Hanna) cookies, and decided they would make a lovely afternoon snack with some freshly made coffee. The kind brewed on the stove top in an Italian coffee maker: rich, hot and aromatic. Just the thing to enjoy on a warm day outside in the shade of one of the big trees in our garden, with a good book and baby girl in tow.
With this in mind I jumped out of bed, pulled back the curtains and let the day flood in, excited to be alive and to bake cookies I’ve not eaten for a good few years now. These cookies are incredibly easy to put together and only take about 10 minutes to bake. They are like little orbs of sunlight in a cookie jar and they always make me smile. I don’t make them as often and I could, mainly because I’d end up eating too many of them, and these are definitely not something that should be eaten regularly. In true Finnish baking style, they are filled with cream and butter. If only eating cream and butter was good for me!
I think I can just about recall my first glorious taste of Hanna-tädin piparkakut. I was most likely a small child and doubtless gobbled them up with abandon, crumbs sailing through the air and landing here and there as I wondered about the house in search of lost “special things” I fancied I’d misplaced. I loved these soft, crumbly and airy at the same time melt-in-your-mouth cookies as a child and adore them still.I used to dunk them in a glass of milk. These days it tends to be a cup of coffee or some spicy chai tea. But the fun remains! And seeing Ävälon devour them today reminds me of how much I loved them when I was little, and the month of December, for the hoards in which they are made. I’m excited to make a ton this Christmas for all to enjoy, but this is my practise run using a bit of cardamom, which is not traditionally included, and some nuts for decoration and texture.
In Finland, they are made for Christmas and served on the Finnish Joulu Kahvi Poydä (Finnish coffee table) throughout the month of December. If you want a little taste of Finland this Christmas make these cookies. They are so simple to make and their cookie-cake-like texture will please most. They are loved throughout Finland, in our home, and I hope now, in yours too!
Love and light!