My wonderful, full-blood Swedish mother-in-law gave me this amazing Scandinavian cookbook for Christmas a few years ago. The desert sand cookie recipe is one of my favorites. They are so easy to make and yet they are extremely delicious.
The old me would have balked at the fact that this recipe uses two sticks of butter. The new me knows better. The new me is diligently working on shedding this butter conspiracy complex that plagues society. Don’t scrimp on the butter, because it makes this recipe taste amazing. And don’t just throw the butter in the microwave. It’s so worth taking a few minutes to brown the butter. Plus, browned butter just smells absolutely amazing. To quote the movie Julie & Julia, “Is there anything better than butter?”
Desert Sand Cookies:
-1 cup butter
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Brown the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the butter starts foaming, stir constantly until it turns golden brown. Set the butter aside and let it cool for about an hour.
Mix flour and baking powder together. Add the cooled butter and vanilla to the sugar in a medium bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Add the flour and mix to form a dough. (The dough will be extremely crumbly because there isn’t much liquid in this recipe, but it comes together pretty easily once you start forming balls.)
Shape dough into balls and place on baking sheets. Press a crisscross pattern onto the cookies with a fork. Dip fork in a bit of flour if the dough sticks.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies don’t really brown, so touch them to see if they’re done. If they give, they need more time. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for at least two minutes before putting them on a cooling rack. The cookies will be very fragile and crumbly until they cool.