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Vinarterta Icelandic Christmas Cookies

by Heather Goodman Lytwyn

I have been making vinarterta for years. This year I had some prunes left over in the freezer, and so I made up a batch of dough and made 3 layer cookies. They were a big hit! See the recipe below.

Day 1 Making the Prune Filling 1 lb. pitted prunes 1 cup white sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp vanilla Put prunes in saucepan and cover with boiling water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the prunes are tender. Drain, saving ½ cup of cooking water. Put prunes through a food processor. Return to the saucepan and add ½ cup cooking water, 1 cup sugar, & 2 tsp. cinnamon.

Bring to a boil until thick enough to spread easily. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp of vanilla. Refrigerate, if not making the cookies until another day.

Day 2 Cookie Dough 1 cup soft butter 1 ½ cups white sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp almond extract 2 Tbsps. light cream 4 cups of shifted all purpose flour (Almond flour can be substituted) 1 tsp baking powder Pinch of salt 1 tsp. ground cardamom

- Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar gradually, creaming well after each addition. Add eggs one at a time. Add cream and almond extract. - Sift dry ingredients together & add to creamed mixture. Blend well. - Turn out on parchment paper on your cupboard and gently knead until smooth – about 10-15 strokes. Add a minimum amount of flour if necessary. - Refrigerate for 20 minutes if it is too soft to handle.

Baking & Assembly

Heat oven to 350 F. Using a rolling pin, and some flour to keep it from sticking, roll the dough out on the cupboard This works well if you use parchment paper under the dough. Use a 3 inch cookie round cutter – or any shape you want. One person told me she made them in the shape of hearts. Bake on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper until light to golden brown, about 13 minutes. To remove the cooked dough from the pans, simply slide the parchment paper onto the cooling racks.

The assembly can happen anytime. If you want someone to help, all you need is two butter knives, and a couple of plates to put them on. Spread the prunes on – not too thick – three cookies and two layers of prunes. Like the traditional cake, they have to be stored a few days in the fridge or freezer before serving. Warning: they are delicious right out of the freezer and so easy to serve or give away; expect to make another batch or 4. You might even try a different filling – apricot or rhubarb…

Have fun!

1 Comment

Unknown member
Dec 23, 2021

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