Jen’s Monthly Recipe Corner

I clipped this tasty recipe out of the Star-Tribune back in the mid-90s and managed to keep track of the scrap of yellowing newsprint through two moves, but couldn’t locate it a few years ago when I wanted to make these again.

I was lucky enough to get assistance from the late Al Sicherman, former food writer extraordinaire for the Strib, in relocating this recipe. I never got to meet “Uncle Al” in person before his passing in August of this year, but he helped me track down many a recipe, so I share this one with you in his honor and memory. They are a delightful departure from the standard holiday cookies with their light texture and unique Scandinavian taste.



Please note: you definitely do not have to cut these into strips. I have cut these out with all kinds of cookie cutters, and they bake just fine! The parchment paper is a worthy investment for this recipe, too. You can find almond paste in the baking aisle. Lastly, make sure your cardamom is fresh!


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Cardamom-Almond Sticks

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup confectioners’ (aka powdered) sugar

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup almond paste, crumbled

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

⅓ cup water

3 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 tablespoons almonds, finely chopped

In a food processor, blend flour, confectioners’ sugar, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Add almond paste and butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a glass measuring cup, combine water, oil and lemon juice. With the processor running, pour liquid through feed tube and process until dough just forms a ball. Do not overmix. Divide the dough into quarters; wrap each section in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough into a 3- by 12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped almonds and press them in with the rolling pin. Cut dough crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips and place ½ inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and almonds.

Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets until crisp.

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