Baking Through Fika: Gunnebo Dreams
I was able to go out to California last month to celebrate my cousin and his wife who just the month before got married (Congratulations, Peter and Carissa!) and while there I was asked by a few of my family members if I was still baking and blogging and how this particular Fika cookbook project was coming along. I’d kind of forgotten I even had a blog! Why is it so hard?! How can I feel so busy, that I’m always working on something, yet nothing ever feels complete and I just feel like I’m failing at everything? That sounds dramatic. But really, the minute I finish laundry there is more to do, I enjoy a clean floor for an hour before someone spills their yogurt or the dog comes in with muddy paws, and why do kids wipe their hands, faces and snotty noses on everything BUT a towel, tissue or napkin? Why? What you don’t know or appreciate fully until you’re in it is that being a parent (working or not, mom or dad) is just plain hard, often unrewarding (at least in the short term) and underappreciated work. Being the cook, the maid, the social coordinator, the chauffeur, the teacher, the disciplinarian, the mediator, etc for a family is time consuming, tiring and never ending. I didn’t spill all of that to my inquiring family, I simply said “I just haven’t been making the time to blog as much recently.”
I definitely still enjoy blogging, and of course baking, but finding a balance between it and the rest of life’s demands and responsibilities isn’t simple. I’ve thought about having a certain day and time that I dedicate to blogging, which in theory sounds like a good plan and maybe that will be my resolution for the blog in 2017. For now I am just going to try to finish this Fika book! There are lots of yummy looking recipes perfect for the quickly approaching holiday season, and once I’m done this will be the first blog project I’ve actually completed, unlike others that started with the best of intentions and then fizzled out…
Here is my most recent bake from Fika! This one puts me at 15 recipes completed and 15 to go. Halfway! Woohoo! Hopefully the rest won’t take me quite as long as the first half, but don’t hold your breath.
Gunnebo Dreams, cookies I have never heard of before, are a basic sugar cookie but with the unexpected addition of lemon balm. I’d put off this simple recipe from Fika this long only because I couldn’t find lemon balm (and I didn’t look too terribly hard). My grocery store’s garden section recently had some, so I figured it was a sign. It’s now planted in a pot in the back yard and is flourishing! I haven’t tried it in anything else, but found this great list of what is possible with lemon balm. The honey-lemon nighttime syrup sounds like something I could use…
This recipe comes together so quickly and is simple and straightforward. The kids can definitely help out! The mixture of butter and oil gives these a different texture that I quite liked. The cookie bakes up slightly crumbly and delicate, but doesn’t fall apart, is still moist, and has lovely buttery flavor.
I didn’t find the lemon balm to be overwhelming, which was a fear I had initially. It was just noticeable enough to add some interest to such a simple cookie. The green specks are nice, too. You could probably use other herbs, rosemary or thyme, possibly tarragon and mint as well. Let me know what you try!
The recipe doesn’t call to roll these in sugar before baking, but it just felt right. And the resulting sweet and crunchy exterior is great.
I’m trying out this new-to-me recipe feature, so bear with me as I figure it out! And PLEASE give feedback if you have some. If you like the feature, if not, why, how can it be better (either in appearance or ease of use) and if you use a recipe widget on our blog and you love it, again, PLEASE tell me about it! I’m all trial and error over here and basically always need help 🙂
|Cook Time||12-15 minutes per batch|
- 2 ounces butter softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 sugar sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 big handful lemon balm leaves finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat butter, sugar and oil together until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, salt and vanilla and mix well.
- Fold lemon balm leaves into the batter.
- Roll dough into small balls (a rounded teaspoon is a nice size) then roll in sugar and place on baking sheet, leaving a little room between the cookies.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just slightly golden. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on wire racks.