Chef and author Magnus Nilsson of rural Sweden’s Fävaken Magasinet, serves little shortbread cookies filled with jam after breakfast and for snacks. His recipe was passed down from an early employee’s grandmother, and in his book, he calls them Douglas’ Shortbread Biscuits. Chef Nilsson prefers “good homemade jams” that have been only minimally cooked. I come from a family of jam makers, so I used what my brothers and I had made and shared—New Hampshire blackberry, Oregon cherry, and California citrus. I also used another family favorite, mountain ash or what Chef Nilsson calls rowanberry. In the States, mountain ash is more often used as a street tree than for jams. Its bittersweet flavor makes for a grown-up cookie.
(This recipe was adapted from Fävaken by Magnus Nilsson, Phaidon, October 2012)
about 60 cookies
3 1/2 cups
1 1/4 cups
butter (2½ sticks) at room temperature
eggs at room temperature
your favorite jam
In This Recipe
Mix the flour, baking powder, and sugar.
Blend in the butter with your fingers, essentially kneading the dough into a meal. Take your time with this step.
Lightly beat the eggs, add them to the dough, and work until just smooth.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. (The parchment paper is only needed in case the jam overflows.)
Make an indentation in each ball with your thumb, and fill it with jam, about ½ teaspoon per cookie. The runnier your jam, the deeper your indentation should be and the less jam you should use.
Bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
I’m a marine biologist who can get a little overly obsessive about cooking projects. If it involves obscure research, strange and unusual ingredients, and more work than you can imagine—I’m ready to party.