Black Currant Caves

Source: Nichole Accettola, Scandinavian from Scratch

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe appears in Scandinavian by Scratch by Nichole Accettola (Penguin Random House, 2023) and was demonstrated at the Foodwise Classroom on November 18, 2023.

Grottor, or “caves,” are a popular Swedish cookie shape, essentially a Scandi-style thumbprint cookie. Most often these cookies are made with raspberry jam, but when I visited Denmark for the first time and tasted black currant jam on a piece of rye bread with butter, I fell in love with its sourness and distinctive, earthy flavor. These cookies put black currant jam to great use. After baking, the cookies taste like tiny black currant pies. Black currant jam is widely available at gourmet grocery stores and online or use your local seasonal jam for an equally delicious option.

Makes 16 Cookies

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (256 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
1⁄3 cup (62 grams) powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups (384 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt to finish
1 egg
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
¾ cup (150 grams) black currant jam or other type of jam

Line two 13 by 18-inch (33 by 46 cm) baking trays with parchment paper. Arrange two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar on medium until soft and creamy, pausing halfway through to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix until well blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated. The dough will be fairly thick. Divide the dough into two equal portions.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour, then roll each ball of dough into a log about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Cut each log into eight cookies at 1½-inch (3.5 cm) intervals and arrange them on the prepared baking trays, spaced 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) apart. Use your thumb to make a careful depression in the top of each cookie. Your thumb should come about ¼ inch (6 mm) shy of the baking tray. Be careful not to push all the way through the dough. As you press down, the cookie will expand into a rounded shape. Don’t worry if the edges of the dough crack a little.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush each cookie with the egg wash, focusing on the edges. Sprinkle the tops with the demerara sugar.

Drop a heaping teaspoon of the jam into the center of each cookie.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway through from top to bottom and front to back, until golden at the edges and the jam is set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container, where they will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

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