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Every day till Christmas, we're bringing you 12 Days of Baking: 12 all-new baking recipes to lift holiday spirits -- from breakfast pastries to dinner rolls, and all the desserts you can handle.
Sometimes you come across a book that's so charming you can't resist cooking from it. Such was the case with Swedish Cakes and Cookies. Who doesn't like a gingham cover? And Swedish cookies? And Swedish cookies made with rye flour? I was smitten. This adorable little book has so many sticky note tabs in its pages it looks like fringe.
It turns out that those rye cookies -- Elsa's Rye Cookies, though we never learn who Elsa is, but you know she wears a good apron and has a vintage rolling pin -- are like tea biscuits. Add a little more salt, and you have something you could serve with cheese. A little more sugar and your kids will want them all. But we liked them just the way they are, gently spiced, proud of their rye blood, and stubbornly uncommitted to dessert.
Adapted from Swedish Cakes and Cookies.
Makes 60 cookies (depending on the cookie cutter size; you can halve or quarter the recipe)
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cup fine rye flour
Photos by James Ransom