Elsa's Rye Cookies

December 18, 2012

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.

Today: Amanda shares our new favorite not-so-sweet tea cookie: Elsa's Rye Cookies.

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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.

Swedish Cakes and Cookies

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.

Elsa's Rye Cookies

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 egg
1 1/2 cup fine rye flour

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

Photos by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


Daytona S. December 10, 2013
"Swedish Cakes & Cookies" is full of great recipes--don't miss the cardamom cake! Ever since tasting the chocolate rye cookie at Tartine last year, I've really enjoyed the flavor of rye in cookies. Thanks for reminding me to try make them soon!
jenniebgood December 19, 2012
I have to confess that I might judge this book by it's gingham cover alone! These look wonderful -I love biscuity-like cookies. For anyone interested, one idea for left over rye flour is Kim Boyce's rustic rye pie crust dough in Good to the Grain. I was a little hooked on it last summer!
saltandserenity December 19, 2012
Thanks for the reminder jenniebgood! I have some leftover rye flour from my love affair with Good to the Grain! These rye cookies may be just the thing after over indulging on sugar the past few weeks!
Fairmount_market December 18, 2012
I can't wait to try these. Another favorite rye flour cookie of mine is from Heidi Swanson and uses cream cheese as well as butter, which gives them a nice tartness:
jenniebgood December 19, 2012
These sound yummy too! I'll check these out as well - thanks for the idea!
MrsWheelbarrow December 18, 2012
These will be mine. I just checked, and I have enough rye flour to make these Friday morning, at the very start of my official vacation. Thank you, Amanda.
Midge December 18, 2012
What a great find. Saved!