I decided to attempt another tricky European cookie this Christmas: this time Norwegian sandbakelse (also “sandbakkels” or “sandkaker”). They are a crisp almond-flavored sugar cookie baked in special aluminum tart molds. I have probably only had them once or twice, over 30 years ago, and as far as I know, no one in my family makes them anymore. Although they are very tasty, they’re kind of a pain. I haven’t quite decided if they’re worth it yet. But when I took the first bite, I did think: “Oh yeah, I have definitely had these before.”
Problem number one is that I only have a set of 12 molds and the cookies have to cool completely before they can be popped out. But, if you plan well, you can bake other cookies in between batches.
Problem number two, as expected, was getting even, crisp, light cookies. At first I was worried about spreading the dough too thinly in the molds, but after the first sheet, I realized that would be almost impossible. Getting them thin enough is really tricky, and I’m sure even my “good” ones aren’t as good as my great-grandma’s.
What turned out not to be a problem at all was getting them out of the molds. With just a little squeeze, they popped right out.
On a side note, these fit into the category of “Norwegian cookies that look like they could be filled with something but aren’t” (see krumkake).