December 2013

Swedish Brandy Rings

Jay Oyster's picture

Finished brandy rings, delicious with tea or coffeeI'm half Slovak, and proud of it. My mother was from a small village along the Ukrainian border, arriving in the U.S. at age 6. I mention this because the tradition of baking for Christmas that epitomizes Slovak wintertime is the context into which I was presented this particular recipe. Given the name, I'm sure that my mother's Swedish Brandy Rings were not something the family brought with them on the U.S.S. Paris in 1937. But I think of it as one of her Slovak Christmas cookies. We made it every year for at least 40 years, and I continue the tradition. My wife absolutely loves these, and demands them every December.
The recipe is a simple butter cookie that is perfect for accompanying coffee or tea. Unlike other liquor-infused cookies for the holidays, it has only enough alcohol to provide flavor. It's not intended to give a kick, which is good, since I ate a bunch of these as a kid.