Swedish raspberry caves, or jam cookies

by | Jul 17, 2020

Actually, “Swedish jam cookies” sounds too plain. Let’s be daring and use the direct translation for hallongrottor — “raspberry caves”. That name sounds a bit more… evocative, no?

While the cookie is perfectly innocent, I am not the only one who thinks “raspberry cave” packs a bit more of a punch. There used to be a bookshop in Stockholm called Hallongrottan, “The raspberry cave”, which was dedicated to feminist and HBTQ-literature. Apparently, the bookshop appropriately served these treats to the guests.

So, if I ever host a kafferep to celebrate the International Women’s Day, this is what we’ll eat.

Of course, hallongrottor are perfectly decent cookies to serve at any occasion. I swear.

But… jam cookies for the win?

To be fair, a historical review shows that there are far more recipes for syltkakor, or jam cookies, in my old cookbooks. And there aren’t even that many. The old version is usually rolled into a long log, flattened, and spread with jam. Not quite the same thing. For example, a recipe in Dagens Nyheter in 1939 has a dough that is similar to the modern-day version. But, in this case, the dough is rolled out, filled with jam and folded. Add a dash of egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and chopped almonds, and bake. This sounds more like a McDonald’s pie than the cookies I had in mind.

Then there’s a wealth of more recent recipes that use custard powder in the dough. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to stick to “real” ingredients when I’m making myself a treat. Also, it’s an ingredient that is less likely to be handy, compared to flour and sugar.

So, this cookie might not have the impressive pedigree of many other Swedish cookies. It wasn’t until the latest edition (2017) that hallongrottor were included in the Swedish baking bible Sju sorters kakor! I might sound biased as this cookie is a personal favorite, but it still deserves a proud place on the cookie tray as a Swedish favorite.

Why? Just try one, and you’ll know.

Hallongrottor — Swedish jam cookies

Come on, we both know you want to call them raspberry caves. Makes about 22, or 12-14 if you want large ones.

125 g (a generous 1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
3/4 dl (1/3 cup) sugar
2 dl (4/5 cup) flour
1/2 dl (1/5 cup) potato starch
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp baking powder

About 1 dl (1/3 cup) raspberry jam, depending on how jam greedy you are, and small cookie paper cups

  1. Turn the oven on 200°C (400°F).
  2. Stir the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix flour with potato starch, vanilla powder, and baking powder.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Mix it together with a spoon until it comes together as a dough.
  5. Form the dough into a log. I tend to make about 12-14 large ones, but make them as small or as large as you wish. Get a standard size by cutting the dough into about 22 pieces.
  6. Roll the dough pieces into balls and place them in cookie paper cups. Form a hole in each ball (bigger hole, more jam — just saying). Fill the holes about 3/4 with jam.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of the oven. You want them to get just a hint of golden color, but they stay pretty pale.

Suggestions

If you aren’t a big fan of raspberry or don’t have raspberry jam at home, use whatever other firm jam you prefer. The potato starch can be substituted for corn starch.

A favorite variation of mine is to add a few drops of rosewater to the jam. Be careful not to add too much, or it will smell like soap.

2 Comments

  1. Eric S Linden

    Thanks for the recipe, we will try it. Raspberries just picked this week, we beat the bear to them!

    Have you tried them with Hjortron?(cloud berries). Just curious.

    Thanks,
    Eric

    Reply
    • Isabelle Fredborg

      Eric, sounds like adventurous berry picking…

      I’ve eaten a delicious cloudberry jam version but didn’t bake it myself. I am sure it would turn out great! As long as the jam is rather firm you can use anything you like: blueberry or strawberry and rhubarb are a couple of my other favorites. Not to mention a mix of blueberry and raspberry called “drottningsylt”, queen’s jam!

      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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