The children are never far from an excuse to eat sweet things. So it seemed that a few days in a country where a national pastime is to share coffee and cinnamon buns would be perfect. And while Noah and I have now developed an unhealthy addiction to kanelbullar (it’s possible we had more than one each per day, and I made a huge batch when we got home) it seems that Maya and Bee have left Sweden with successful aversion therapy. Their loss and our gain.
Extended city breaks, and that’s what last week was, are great but pretty exhausting for little legs. I’m not sure they were to thrilled traipsing round the photography museum, although they loved the view from the cafe as we had a classic lunch of prawns, rye bread, pickles and the like.
There were days where the temperature reached 38c, where the light seemed clearer, sharper with a freshness born in the northern skies. Then there were days when it seemed like the four Norsemen of the apocalypse were in charge of the weather. And on one of those days, after we had soddenly trudged through the grey streets to the temporary food market the rain became too much and we needed a quick fika fix. Blood sugar levels were low, the grumpiness scale was high and the warm and inviting café had one spare table in the corner. And this is where Maya found her new love for raspberry shortbread.
Demand has been high since then, and to be honest, I’m more than happy to make them. They take about twenty minutes and are so much nicer than jam tarts and if I dare say it, an improvement on shortbread itself. Even Noah, who’s in love with his best friend Ruby’s Scottish Grandmother’s neighbours shortbread agrees.
I’m not sure if they do things differently with Swedish shortbread, I didn’t ask. But this recipe is standard shortbread and is delicious. (Although I use unsalted butter and season it with vanilla salt) I’d be tempted to make double next time. And as for the cinnamon buns I made, they freeze really well, so come Saturday morning, they’ll be on the table for breakfast.
60g unsalted butter, soft
100g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour (I used strong white in this case, but you can use either)
A pinch of vanilla salt (I use Singing Dog)
Raspberry jam to fill
Get a small child to mix together the ingredients (apart from the jam) until they are crumbly and soft and come together in a dough when you press it.
Half fill fairy cake moulds with the mixture, make a little indentation with your thumb in each and spoon in some jam.
Bake in a medium to hot oven for 12 or so minutes, until they are starting to colour a little, but not much.
Leave to cool until you can leave it no longer and dust with icing sugar.