February: Mandelmusslor

“Cooking is like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne

This recipe is a bonus because it’s “just” a dessert, while the other recipes I’ve explored can be considered a full meal on their own (or at least the centerpiece of one). I usually don’t plan any big gestures for Valentine’s Day, and would much prefer to make food from scratch with people I care about. I’ve often said that cooking is my love language: if I cook for you, it means that we’re friends. So thank you to everyone who has been taste-testing these recipes with me!


Mandelmusslor is a traditional Swedish shortbread cookie, usually made around Christmas time. It translates literally into “almond mussel” or “almond seashell” because of the delicately scalloped edges of the metal cookie tins. The cookies are baked into little cups that can be filled with whipped cream, fruit preserves, ice cream, fresh berries or anything else you want. This recipe isn’t from a cookbook, but handed down on my dad’s side of the family from my great-grandmother La, who emigrated to the United States when she was a young girl. While I’m not going to hand out my secret family recipe, there are tons of mandelmusslor recipes online that look almost identical – including this one from My Danish Kitchen.


The most labor-intensive part of mandelmusslor is shaping the dough in the special tins it requires. The ones pictured above are the traditional shapes, although you can find more decorative ones in similar sizes. It’s tricky to find a balance between making the dough thick enough to keep the scalloped edges intact when you tap the cookies out, and making the bottom thin enough to cook all the way through. Because the dough shaping takes time, and the recipe is largely butter, you will want to refrigerate them before putting them in the oven.


You don’t need to grease the tins before adding the dough, and keeping your fingers dusted with flour is immensely helpful as the butter starts to soften from being handled. Do not attempt this recipe without an electric mixer – the butter must be fully creamed before adding the other ingredients, and the dough is easiest to mold when it’s crumbly. Make sure you have enough tins to accommodate the entire batch of dough because the cookies take time to cool down in the tins.



About lgaylord

Louisa believes in expanding horizons and learning - anything that broadens our minds beyond the here and now, allowing us to learn from the past and innovate for the future. She is particularly interested new and inventive methods of sustainability: city planning and green buildings, creating new objects from old trash, and ways that nature can provide examples for new materials and construction. She is also curious about new scientific breakthroughs, technology and discoveries, and how they will shape the future of consumerism and marketing. While science is important to advancing society, Louisa believes that music, education, art and culture are equally necessary, especially on a local community level.
This entry was posted in Books and Literature, Exploring our World, Flavors and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to February: Mandelmusslor

  1. Paula McLeod says:

    Yum! These look wonderful. I’d like to eat one just plain, please!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s