Drömmar — Swedish dream cookies

by | Jul 30, 2021

“Coffee, black as the soul, and some crushed dreams.”

That café order should be enough to write you off as a lunatic. But in Sweden, you’ll just sound dramatic (and a bit high-maintenance — can’t you break up the cookies yourself?). In any case, it should hopefully lure out a smile from the café attendant.

Drömmar, or “dreams”, are pale melt-in-the mouth cookies with a cracked surface.

Here’s how to make them, in stop motion:

When you make these cookies, there is one thing to remember.

Do. Not. Open. The. Oven.

If you do, you’ll think that I am trying to poison you.

Actually, it will probably stink anyway.

Baker’s ammonia smells like you have a small illegal fertilizer factory in your kitchen (or at least that what I imagine it would smell like — no experience). Just wait until the cookies are baked, and it will pass.

drömmar or swedish dream cookies

Dreams of drömmar

The first edition of Sju sorters kakor from 1945 names drömmar as one of the favorite cookies. That cookbook features a common version with half an almond added to the top of the cookie, but I tend to skip that.

The secret to successful dream cookies, according to Hanna Mendel in Kakor till kafferepet from 1948, is the oven temperature. Warm oven, and the cookies melt and become “toffee-y and really tasty”. Colder oven, and they raise and crack on the surface.

dream cookies drömmar

How to make dreamy drömmar

A common nickname is “sugar dreams” and one thing that you’ll notice is that these are indeed sweet dreams. About a quarter of the weight of the ingredients is sugar. Make sure that the butter is of room temperature when you start, so it mixes well with the sugar. Makes 40-50 dream cookies

100g (1/2 cup) butter (room-temperature)
3 dl (1 1/5 cup) sugar
1 dl (2/5 cups) neutral oil (I use rapeseed oil but sunflower or something similar will also work)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp baker’s ammonia (hjorthornssalt)
4 dl (1 3/5 cups) flour

  1. Put the oven on 150°C (300°F).
  2. In a bowl, blend the butter and the sugar with a spatula or wooden spoon until they are mixed well.
  3. Keep stirring and add in the oil, little by little.
  4. Add the baker’s ammonia and vanilla powder to the flour and blend them in well.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the sugar mixture. Blend until it forms a dough.
  6. Roll the dough into two logs and cut each into about 20-25 pieces. Place the pieces on lined baking trays and flatten them slightly (this will help the baker’s ammonia to leave the cookie).
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remember, it will stink, but the baker’s ammonia should leave the cookies once they are baked and have cooled a bit.

Suggestions

Baker’s ammonia (or hjorthornssalt, as it is known to the Swedes) is not very common in recipes but makes an appearance in older Swedish cookie recipes. It can be substituted with baking powder, although this will alter the texture of the cookie and make it less crumbly

5 Comments

  1. Biagio

    Hej Isabelle! I baked Drömmar (without baker’s ammonia) and they are simply fantastic!!! one of my favorite cookies at all!!!!
    All the best and Happy Christmas !

    Reply
    • Isabelle Fredborg

      Hi Biagio, so happy your drömmar turned out good — God Jul!

      Reply
  2. Joana Monteiro

    Finding baker’s ammonia in Portugal is impossible… they’re amazingly tasty but perhaps because of the lack of the baker’s ammonia they turned out flat… crunchy and tasty but flat. 🙁

    Reply
    • Isabelle Fredborg

      Hi Joana,

      I’m sorry to hear that your dream cookies turned out flat 🙁

      Two things to try:
      – if the butter is too warm it will make the cookies flatter, so use butter that is a little bit colder.
      – check that the oven temperature isn’t too warm — you can lower it a little bit.

      Those are the two normal issues so I hope that will solve the issue for you!

      Reply
  3. Dale Jackson

    Fredrik Backman’s book “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” introduced me to Dream Cookies. I had to order bakers ammonia from Amazon! Can’t wait to try your version. As for your beautiful horse, I absolutely love it. I would love to visit Sweden someday. My sister in law is from Stockholm as well as some of my favourite authors!

    Reply

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Hej och välkommen!

My name is Isabelle. Here at Swedish Spoon, you’ll find Swedish food history, tried-and-tested recipes, and a lot of obsessing over great butter. You can also expect some travel tips.

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