A Finnish Lesson

Today we’re traveling to Helsinki and I get to share the super fun lesson I learned about how not to make a cookie. Luckily the gluten free muffins I made worked out without a problem! Now let’s get to the good stuff.

Local Fare

There were no questions about what I was going to bake this week once I saw a picture of  Lusikkaleivat, or Finnish spoon cookies. Cookies filled with jam? Count me in! They looked amazing, and it sounded like a lightly sweetened sugar cookie base. What could go wrong?

DW: Luckily I wasn’t baking, because the answer would be: a lot.

LW: These do not look like the picture with the recipe and the ones above are the good ones. See below for proof of how wrong they looked…

Here are the substitutions I made:


  • Earth Balance vegan butter for butter, one for one replacement

  • King Arthur Gluten-free Flour, one for one replacement

So how did the cookies go so wrong? First off, the recipe calls for melting and browning the butter, which doesn’t really work with dairy free butter in my experience. Instead I just melted it and followed the instructions. The ratio of butter to flour felt a bit high and that meant the dough was pretty wet. I followed the recipe and baked the first tray of cookies, but the melted butter in the dough left the edges of the cookies looking fried. You can see it in the imperfect edges in the second set of pictures.

I put the rest of the dough into the fridge to cool it down prior to forming into balls. It was in there for five or ten minutes, and that made all the difference. The cookies were still a bit delicate on the edges, but a much better shape. The texture of these cookies was interesting, they were a little chewier than I anticipated. However, once filled these with strawberry jam, they were perfect. They have the best texture when filled and left to sit for 3-6 hours. These were fantastic cookies, despite the look of them, and the lightly sweetened cookies paired perfectly with sweeter jam. Is it wrong that I’m already working on my Christmas cookie plans for this year? Because these with the biscotti di meliga from last week would make for some great treats at a party!

DW: Oh wow, that’s a great idea!

Liz-friendly fare

LW: Our Liz-friendly recipe was a request from the kiddo, who wanted some banana chocolate chip muffins for snack time. I adapted a recipe from Gluten-free Palate for banana blueberry muffins and it was a great idea. These muffins were awesome!

Here are the replacements I made:


  • Chocolate chips for blueberries, 1/2 cup

These were light and fluffy, which is always exciting—it can be hit or miss with gluten free muffins.

DW: These were some of the lightest muffins I’ve ever eaten, gluten or not. As light as the torch in Paavo Nurmi’s hand in Helsinki!

LW: They were very sweet when filled with chocolate chips and I imagine they would seem a bit less sweet with blueberries … but I’d definitely recommend making them with chocolate. Because chocolate. Honestly I think I need to make these muffins this weekend, they were so good!

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