Tag Archives: cookies

Fika with Tea


On Sunday, March 13, I will be hosting a Tea and Fika event in my kitchen with tea specialist Rachel Safko and Swedish cookie maker Ulrika Pettersson from Unna Bakery (NYC).

Rachel, who recently wrote an article about the Swedish Fika tradition for Edible Manhattan in their latest drink issue, will share some of her knowledge about tea and suggestions for pairing tea with snacks. Ulrika and I will share our experience of fika (Swedish for coffee break) and the Swedish cookie tradition. Together we will guide you through a tasting menu consisting of five different teas paired with treats.

So if you want to learn more about the art of tea and Swedish treats, you are most welcome. We have limited spots for this cozy gathering. Hope to see you there.

4-6 p.m. (Please arrive at 4 o’clock)
location: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (you will receive directions with ticket order but it’s close to both C and G).
price: $30 person


Please note that the tickets are transferable but not refundable!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.


We will set up a special shop prior to the event, where we will have Unna Bakery cookies and signed Fika books for a special price. Johanna is also planning to have a few Fika and Tea related prints available. If you already have the Fika book, please bring it along and she will sign it.

A little background about your hosts

Rachel Safko is a Brooklyn-based journalist and tea specialist, who writes about everything from French couture to ancient Yixing teapots. Her most recent articles include a feature on tea and food pairing for Fresh Cup Magazine and the Swedish art of fika for Edible Manhattan.

Ulrika Pettersson is a Swede who’s been living in New York for the last five years. To honor the Swedish heritage she started Unna Bakery with the purpose of making traditional Swedish cookies. Unna Bakery cookies are handmade in Harlem and use mostly organic ingredients for uncompromised quality.

Johanna Kindvall is an illustrator and recipe creator from Sweden who lives in Brooklyn. Her latest book is Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break (Ten Speed, 2015). The book was a collaboration with food writer Anna Brones. Johanna is also the creator of the illustrated cooking blog Kokblog.


Similar events

Glöggmingel with Madame Fromage, 2015
How to host a Fika & Cheese Party (Madame Fromage), 2015


Hazelnut & Cinnamon Cookies


As you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been posting articles for a bit – which is a good sign I’ve been drawing other projects. Anna Brones and I have now almost finished our first draft for our book (scheduled to be published in Spring 2015). So if I haven’t been in the kitchen developing recipes I’ve been at my drawing table drawing them (or on a ladder patching and painting walls for my new home). In late July the book “The Culinary Cyclist” by Anna Brones was published. The book is illustrated by me and it’s for sale here in my SHOP. I also have many other drawing projects that I will share with you when the time is right.

Autumn is here and I don’t know about you but I think its a perfect time to crawl up on the couch with some cookies and a book.

Hazelnut & Cinnamon Cookies
35 cookies
5 oz (140 gram) butter
1/3 cup (67 g) brown sugar
2/3 cup (95 g) raw hazelnuts
1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Turn the oven on to 350°F (175°C).
Toast the hazelnuts in a skillet. Blend them roughly in a food processor (or chop them into tiny pieces).
Mix together hazelnuts, sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon in a wide large bowl or directly on top of the counter. Work all quickly together with your fingertips (or with a knife) into a dough. Form two separate 7″ long rolls, about 1″ in diameter. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
With a sharp knife, cut about 18-20 slices to each roll. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are a nice color. Let the cookies cool separately from each other on a flat surface before storing them in sealed containers. The cookies can also be stored in the freezer.

Want more cookies… Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Summer is ending, at least here in Sweden and at the moment I’m dreaming of a balcony in the East Village where the summer will last a little bit longer. My favorite baking treat this summer has been my simple Coconut Macaroons.

(makes about 25-30 macaroons)

50 gram (1/8  lb) butter
3 egg whites, room temperature (use the yolks for a Pasta alla Carbonara or a Mayonnaise)
50 ml (¼ cup) regular sugar
100 ml (½ cup) sucanat
200 gram flaked coconut

Melt the butter and set aside to cool down.  Whip the egg whites with regular sugar until stiff (its important that the bowl is absolutely clean before you start and that the eggs really are at room temperature).  Carefully blend in the sucanat followed by the coconut flakes and lastly the cooled melted butter. Let the mixture rest a little. Take a teaspoon and scoop up some of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet.  Repeat until the mixture is divided. Bake for about 12 minutes at 175°C. Let the cookies cool totally before storing them in a sealed container. Enjoy!

(Another cookie recipe: Hazelnut & Cinnamon Cookies)

Murder Cookies (guest post)

For a long time I’ve had the idea to invite friends and others I think are fantastic food personalities to post here. The idea is to have them write and me illustrate the post.

My first guest is the Swedish food journalist Alice Brax and the woman behind my absolute favorite Swedish food blog Brax on Food. Alice blogs about  restaurants, food shopping, seasonal food products and whats happening behind the scenes as a food journalist in Stockholm. We met for the first time through our blogs in 2005  at the cafe Vetekatten in Stockholm. Since then we have shared many fantastic food moments, either in our own kitchens or in restaurants in NYC and Sweden. At the moment Alice Brax is visiting NYC.


Murder She Baked
by Alice Brax

I spend my summers in a small red cottage near Sweden’s biggest lake Vänern. During the long summer nights, it has become a tradition to make cookies while watching British murder mysteries on TV, such as Miss Marple or Midsomer murders. A murder mystery takes about an hour to solve, as does a batch of cookies. At least if you like your cookies pretty and your murder mysteries wrapped up nicely.

Traditionally in Sweden, you are supposed to offer your guests at least seven different kinds of cookies. But who has the time for that much baking? My secret is to use Swedish classic dough to create at least seven different kinds of cookies.

seven types of cookies
(this dough makes about 80 small cookies in different colors and shapes)

3 ½ sticks of butter (14 oz)(400gr), room temperature
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
4 cups (950 ml)  flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp water

Mix butter, sugar and flour into a dough. Put aside two thirds of the dough. Stir cocoa with water and mix with the remaining dough until it becomes brown.
Put the two pieces of dough in plastic bags and let them rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. This makes the dough easier to handle.

Seven Variations


Chess Squares
Take 3 oz (85 gr) of each dough. Form two ¾ inch (2 cm) rolls out of each of them. Put the four rolls together to form a small chessboard (2×2). Carefully press the roll against the table on all four sides to form a square roll. Cut less than ¼ inch (0.7 cm) thick cookies and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 400°F (200°C) – they should not get much color! When I really want to impress my guests I make the chessboard 3×3 instead, still keeping the cookie the same small size.


Think Pink
½ cup (120 ml) sugar
4 drops red food coloring
Form 5 oz (140 gr) of the light dough into a 1 ½ inch (4 cm) thick roll. Mix sugar and food coloring until it becomes pink. Pour the sugar on a plate and role the dough until it is covered with sugar. Cut less than ¼ inch (0.7 cm) thick cookies and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 400°F (200°C) – they should not get much color!


Jam Caves
4 tbsp of your favorite jam
Form 5 oz (140 gr) of the light dough into a 1 ½ inch (4 cm) thick roll. Cut ½ inch (1 cm) thick cookies and place on a greased baking sheet. Use your little finger to carefully make a dimple in the middle of the cookie. Fill the dimple with less than half a tsp of jam. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C) – they should not get much color!


Tanned Top
Form 3 oz (85 gr) of the light dough into a 1 inch (2,5 cm) thick roll. Roll out 1 ½ oz (ca 40 gr) of the dark dough 3 inch (5 cm) wide and as long as the roll (about ¼ inch thick). Roll the dark dough around the light roll. Cut less than ¼ inch thick (0.7 cm) cookies and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 400°F (200°C) – they should not get much color!


Pig’s Nose
Form 2 ½ oz (ca 70 gr) of the dark dough into two thin rolls. Roll out 4 oz (113 g) of the light dough 4 inch (10 cm) wide and as long as the two dark rolls. Roll the light dough around the dark rolls, one at a time. Cut less than ¼ inch (0.7 cm) thick cookies and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 400°F (200°C) – they should not get much color!


Finish Cocktail Sticks (Finska pinnar)
½ cups almond
2 tbsp pearl sugar
Roll out 7 oz (200gr) of the light dough to a 5 x 5 inch big square (about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick). Chop the almonds coarsely. Sprinkle almond and pearl sugar on top of the square and pat it in with your palm. Cut the dough into 1 inch thick strips and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 400°F (200°C) – they should not get much color!


It’s not only a swing dance, it’s a classic Swedish cookie as well.
1 egg white
4 tbsp sugar
6 drops red food coloring
Roll out 7 oz (200gr) of the light dough into a 7 x 5 inch (18×13 cm) big square. For the meringue, beat an egg white with an electric beater. Gradually add sugar, and beat until the meringue is shiny and very stiff. Add the food coloring and stir carefully until the meringue is pink. Spread the meringue evenly on the dough and loosely roll together. Wrap in saran wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes in the freezer. Cut the dough into 1 inch thick strips and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C) – they should not get much color!

1. Don’t use too much flour. If the butter is too warm the dough feels sticky. Try putting it in the fridge for a while.
2.  Don’t overwork the dough or you will end up with chewier cookies.
3.  Size matters! The cookies shouldn’t be bigger then 1 ½ inch in diameter.
4. You can make the dough in advance. Form it into a roll, cover with saran wrap and put into the freezer. When you want to make cookies, just take out the dough, cut them up and bake them.


Follow Alice on twitter, @BraxonFood