Bondkakor (farm biscuits) – making a Swedish classic a little fancier with pistachios & chocolate

There was butter in the fridge and I realised I needed to use it. So I went to my favourite Swedish cookbook, the one that’s been with me since I was a kid, and looked through the biscuits there. I was quickly reminded of how much I like bondkakor (farm biscuits): almonds add crunch and syrup adds a sweet toffee flavour. I looked at the recipe, looked at what’s in the cupboard, and decided to switch it up a little. The results were great.

Tender, rich and rather lovely: fancy farm biscuits.

Tender, rich and rather lovely: fancy farm biscuits.

A good bondkaka is crunchy and delicate and robust all at the same time. They were one of my favourites as a child. These are a little more elegant than the ones I grew up with: you can really taste the pistachios. They’re great with tea or coffee. Enjoy!

Espresso and biscuits? I don't mind if I do.

Espresso and biscuits? I don’t mind if I do.

Shaping is simple: make sausages of the dough, chill and cut. Although… I found I needed to shape them with my hands a few cuts in when the dough deformed. There’s probably a trick to cutting, other than just chilling the dough.

Biscuits in the waiting. EAch one lovingly hand-shaped (because the dough was a little too soft when I cut it).

Biscuits in the waiting. Each one lovingly hand-shaped (because the dough was a little too soft when I cut it).

They spread in the oven so don’t put them too close. If they snuggle up, just cut the join with a sharp knife while they are still warm. Easy, peasy.

I got 30 onto one baking sheet. Hurrah! Though they could have been a tad bigger.

I got 30 onto one baking sheet. Hurrah! Though they could have been a tad bigger.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bondkakor (farm biscuits)
 
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
 
A take on a traditional biscuit where pistachios and chocolate adds colour and richness.
Author:
Recipe type: Biscuit
Cuisine: European
Serves: 60
Ingredients
  • 50 grams pistachios (or almonds, for the traditional version)
  • 25 grams dark chocolate (optional)
  • 200 grams butter
  • 550 ml plain flour
  • 200 ml caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Chop the nuts (and chocolate, if using).
  2. Put flour, butter, sugar, bicarb, syrup, water, nuts and chocolate into the bowl.
  3. Mix thoroughly (if you have a food processor, let that do the mixing).
  4. Divide the dough into two and make two sausages, about 4 cm in diameter.
  5. Let rest in the fridge for about an hour.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 220C.
  7. Cut into pieces 3-4 mm thick (should make about 60 biscuits). I found that the dough deformed when I cut it so shaped each slice into a round.
  8. Place on baking paper.
  9. Cook in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes.
  10. They're ready when golden brown. They'll cool to a crisp, delicate crumble.

 

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Caroline, my Swedish mother-in-law left me her Swedish cook books (in English) and I make her bondkakor with finely chopped pecans (according to the recipe). The recipe also calls for dark corn syrup or molasses. I use the molasses because the flavor is kind of toffee-like. I will try light syrup or Lyles next time (I can get Lyles in the US – so yummy). It seems most bondkakor recipes call for almonds? I haven’t seen chocolate before.
    Thanks from one Caroline to another.

    • Hi Caroline,
      You’re right, almonds are the nuts that my cookbook calls for. I’ve never seen a recipe for bondkakor with chocolate either, that’s very much my own take. It worked well with the pistachios. Most of the time, I’d make this as per the original recipe, without chocolate and with almonds. I really like the idea of pecans and molasses (or rather Tate & Lyle’s treacle) and can see how that would make a lovely, caramelly biscuit. I love how recipes change as they travel around the world. In the (badly translated) words of a famous Swedish cookbook writer: “use what you have”. Thank you for sharing your mother-in-law’s version! I might try it over Christmas: they sound perfect for the season.
      Many thanks from this Caroline.

  2. Badly written recipe- is there a butter or not? If yes how much. Syrup…..what kind of Syrup?
    Brds

    • Hi Eva. In the UK syrup means golden syrup. It’s more or less the same as ljus sirap in Sweden. No idea what it could be in other countries: I understand they don’t have it in the States, for example. Thank you for pointing out that I’d missed the butter off the ingredient list. I’ve added it in. Kind regards, Caroline

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