Bordstabelbakkels—I know quite a mouthful —which translates to table stack cookies. I really don't know why they are called that. They don't look like tables. Maybe the leg of a table?


GROWING UP, I had two grandmothers. You’ve heard many tales of my beloved Mormor, my mom’s mother, who lived with us, and whom I was very close with.

But there was also my father’s mother.
We all called her Mor, which means “mother” in Norwegian, and I have to say that I never really got to know her that well. I always felt there was a boundary between us, and I don't think she understood me like my mormor did. After all, I was a bit of a peculiar boy.

Mor was very chic and wore great clothes and large wigs that she displayed on foam heads in her bedroom. They kind of scared me a little, all those heads in a row. She once came to a school play dressed in

a leopard-print dress and big wig, and I thought she was so glamorous. The other kids though she was someone famous—I didn't mind that.

She wasn't the best cook, but she did make the best Christmas cookies, called Bordstabelbakkels—I know quite a mouthful —which translates to table stack cookies.

I really don't know why they are called that. They don't look like tables. Maybe the leg of a table?

Anyway, my fondest memory of Mor was going over to her house before Christmas and baking these cookies together. Her guard fell a little, and we got closer after that. But our time left was short. She was ill and died six months later. Now, every time I bake these cookies, I think of her and those last good memories. God Jul, Mor.

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Makes about 60

You will need:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon heavy cream 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 stick butter, softened

TOPPING:
3 large egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cups ground almonds
  1. In a bowl, mix together egg, cream, and granulated sugar.
  2. Add flour and butter, and work until you have a smooth cookie dough.
  3. Wrap in plastic and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
  4. In a bowl, whip egg whites and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in the almonds. Fill a piping bag with the mixture.
  5. Preheat oven to 350oF.
  6. Roll out the cookie dough until thin using a rolling pin and a little flour.
  7. Use a knife to cut the dough into 3/4-inch x 4-inch pieces, and place on a parchment-paper covered baking pan.
  8. Pipe a line of the almond mixture over the cookies, and bake for about 6 minutes, or until nice and golden.
  9. Cool on a wire rack and store in a cookie jar with a tight lid.

TIP:

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Bordstabelbakkels—I know quite a mouthful —which translates to table stack cookies. I really don't know why they are called that. They don't look like tables. Maybe the leg of a table?
Photography by Paul Lowe

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