Heidi Swanson's Swedish Rye Cut-Out Cookies

December  2, 2014

Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks gives classic cut-out cookies a rye flour and cream cheese dough (and a lot more personality). 

Powder-kissed and pretty, these Swedish Rye Cookies are perfect for holiday cookie enthusiasts who are after a not-too-sweet, shortbread-style butter cookie. I make them with a blend of rye and whole-wheat pastry flours, and also break with tradition when it comes adding my secret ingredient. Because I love the taste of toasted rye bread slathered with cream cheese, I use a butter/cream cheese combination for the dough—instead of only butter. 

Shop the Story

I suspect you could experiment with other flours in place of the rye and expect good results—barley or oat flours might work well. I also got to thinking about doing a savory version of this cookie with herbs and grated cheese in place of most or all of the sugar—turning it into a buttery rye cream-cheese herb cracker...

Swedish Rye Cookies 

Makes 12 small cookies 

1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar, sifted
Large grain sugar (for sprinkling)
Organic powdered sugar (for snow)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Heidi Swanson

Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
View Maker
Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.

View Maker

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Laura415
  • charlotte
  • mcs3000
  • Fredrik Martinsson
    Fredrik Martinsson
  • Fairmount_market


Laura415 December 24, 2015
I like the idea of using cream cheese for these. I would also add a bit of cardamom too.
charlotte December 7, 2014
I can't wait to try them! Is the pastry flour crucial? Can I just use standard whole wheat flour? Thank you!
mcs3000 December 3, 2014
I can't wait to make these. Love Heidi's work. Incredibly inspiring.
Fredrik M. December 3, 2014
They look really good, but as a Swede am I curious why they are called "Swedish"... I have NEVER heard about this cookies in Sweden. Are they common in US?
Inger December 6, 2015
Agree with Frederick. I'm Swedish and have never seen this cookie in Sweden
Fairmount_market December 3, 2014
These are a favorite holiday cookie in our household: http://fairmountmarket.blogspot.com/2011/12/swedish-rye-cookies.html
Annie S. December 2, 2014
Wonderful looking cookies! I love rye and have some lovely artisanal flours that I was looking to use. Thank you for your contribution...great photo.
Elizabeth S. December 2, 2014
These look incredible! I've been wanting to experiment with rye flour, and these beautifully rustic cookies seem like a wonderful place to start.