Friday, November 30, 2012

Grandma Johnson's Swedish Rusks

Holiday season is officially here!  Traditionally, every year I start the Christmas baking frenzy off by making Swedish rusks--don't really know why-maybe because my sister does, and she tends to do everything right!  Anybody with any Swedish blood in them knows you can't fully enjoy the holidays without every tin and box in your home full of all the cookies, bars and candies that our mothers also produced!  As I live on a small island in Greece; and the Christmas decorations on the light posts at the beach haven't gone up yet, it's really difficult to tell when a holiday is happening untill it's right on top of you!  The blue and red lit up boats start sparkling a week before Christmas.  The boat is a symbol of St. Nickolas, the guy who watches over the sailors, and also brings presents to good children at Christmas.  I need a bit more notice than one week!  So get a good supply of baking ingredients and let the fun begin!!  These cookies are good all by themselves and are exceptionally good for dunking...Good thing this recipe makes such a big batch as these too are Yannis' favorites!!
Grandma Johnson's Swedish Rusks
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
3 1/2 Teas. almond or vanilla extract (I prefer vanilla) but these are actually called almond rusks!
5 cups flour
1 teas. soda
1 teas. salt
1/2 teas. nutmeg (my addition)
1 cup dairy sour cream  (I use full fat Greek yogurt)
1 cup slivered or chopped almonds
     Beat the sugar with the butter; beat in the eggs and flavoring.Sift flour, soda and salt together and add alternately to the mixture with the sour cream(yogurt); add nuts.  Shape into french bread type loaves by kneading them on a floured surface.  Shape into 6 loaves and put 3  on a large greased baking sheet.  Bake 30 minutes at 350F. or 180 C.; remove and cool; slice into 3/4 inch thick rusks and place face down on the cookie sheet ; bake again for 8-10 minutes, turn and bake on other side for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let them cool and then dip them in milk or coffee

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