norwegian cardamom butter cookies

One of my all-time favorite cookies growing up was my grandma’s Sandbakkelse (Norwegian Almond Butter Cookies).   If there wasn’t a fresh batch on the counter, you could always count on a bag or two hiding in the freezer in the basement.

She was known (around the world!) for them.  And hot out of the oven, or still slightly-frozen and dipped in a hot cup of coffee…  there really was nothing better.

This cardamom version of her famous buttery cookies is now tied right up there as my favorite.  And I sure hope I made her proud with this one!

Norwegian Cardamom Butter Cookies | Sweet Anna's

(Grandma, I wish you were still around to sample a few over a couple hot mugs of coffee with me!  I miss you!)

If you like butter, and if you like cardamom, you will like these cookies.

They are perfect with your morning coffee, and even better alongside a scoop of good coffee ice cream before bed…

Enjoy!

norwegian cardamom butter cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups + 2 tablespoons flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, cardamom and salt until well blended. Mix in the flour, until you have a smooth, well-mixed dough.

Scoop the dough out onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten with a fork dipped in cold water.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are just barely golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before storing in Tupperware in the freezer (if they don't all get eaten right away, that is!).

http://sweetannas.com/2014/05/norwegian-cardamom-butter-cookies.html

rhubarb cobbler with cardamom biscuits

rhubarb cobbler with sweet cardamom biscuits

Rhubarb is one of my favorite, favorite things.  Rhubarb sauce for ice cream & yogurt, rhubarb crumble bars, raspberry rhubarb crumble, rhubarb pie…  You name it.  If it’s got the word rhubarb in it, chances are I’m going to love it!

So, naturally I have lots of recipes for rhubarb and never tire of trying out new ones.  I have yet to find one I don’t like!

This time I decided to veer away from my usual rhubarb sauce and make a rhubarb cobbler.  Sweet biscuits sitting on top of a juicy, bubble pan full of rhubarb…  what could be wrong with that picture?!

[Read more...]

banana almond poppy seed muffins

Yep, you read that right.  Banana Almond Poppy Seed Muffins.  I am that indecisive.

I had a bunch of bananas to use up, and thought muffins sounded fun.  But then, almond poppy seed muffins are really my favorite.

So, I thought…  ”why not combine the two?!  It might be a total flop, but I’m pretty sure at least I will enjoy them anyways!”

Banana Almond Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Anna's

Well, guess what?

It was NOT a flop!  I am so excited about these muffins!

I love love LOVE the flavor and crunch of almond poppy seed muffins.  But they can sometimes be quite dry and I love the almost no-fail moistness of banana muffins.  So, put the two together and you get bliss in muffin form!

Serve these warm out of the oven, or make a double batch and freeze them and heat up a few at a time for a special treat.  Either way, save those brown bananas!!

banana almond poppy seed muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

30 minutes

Yield: makes 12 regular muffins (or 24 mini-muffins)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 medium-large very ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 12 ct muffin tin (or a 24-ct mini-muffin tin!); Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas well and mix in the melted (and slightly cooled) butter and sugar. Whisk in the egg and almond extract until well blended; Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.

Dump the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined. It's ok if there's a few clumps/streaks. (Better to under-mix than over-mix muffins and quick breads!)

Scoop the batter into the greased muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of the sliced almonds, and then bake for 18-20 minutes (for regular muffins). If you are making mini-muffins, start checking them for doneness at about 12 minutes!

The muffins are done when they are nicely puffed, the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of them comes out almost clean.

Let cool until you can handle them (about 10 minutes) and then remove from the tins and serve! (Or let cool completely on a wire rack and freeze!)

http://sweetannas.com/2014/04/banana-almond-poppy-seed-muffins.html

recipe loosely adapted from allrecipes.com

If you haven’t learned this trick yet, please use a scoop to fill your muffin-tins!  It makes the whole process so quick and tidy!!

(Ali over at Gimme Some Oven has a great post about this!)

sesame garlic asparagus

Spring is here, and that means fresh asparagus is staring at us around every grocery store corner.  Calling our names and taunting us with its cute little head and bright, springy color.

Don’t fight it.  It’s a lost battle.

Sesame Garlic Asparagus | Sweet Anna's

If you’ve got a fridge full like I do, make this tonight…  you will be so happy you did!!

If you don’t have a fridge full… don’t worry.  I’m sure there will be plenty calling your name at the grocery store tomorrow when you go shop for your Easter dinner groceries (hint, hint)!

[Read more...]

this mothering stuff… it’s hard

Yep.  It’s true.  This mothering stuff…  it’s hard.  And no one likes to talk about the hard stuff.  But I’m tired of all the blind-siding I’ve been feeling, and I’d love to know you are a little more prepared for all of this than I was.

This Mothering Stuff...  It's Hard.

You know what?  I always wanted to be a mom.  It’s ALL I ever wanted, actually.

In Kindergarten, when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered “a mom”.  In 1st grade, same answer.  By 2nd grade, I learned my lesson (the ‘mom’ answer was not the ‘right’ answer) and I made up something different each time.  But inside, I was always shouting “a MOM!  I just want to be A MOM!!”.

And guess what?  I’m here!  I’m exactly where I have always wanted to be.  I am MOM.

That is no trivial thing.  I am beyond blessed with my not-so-little family and every day I am blown away by these little people God has entrusted me with.

I know so many people who are struggling with the longing to be parents.  And please don’t get me wrong, I feel their pain.  I feel it so deeply.  And I am in no way saying I don’t want this hard life…  I LOVE this life.  Hard, or easy, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

But I do wish I had known a tiny glimpse of how hard it would actually be.

[Read more...]