I think I've mentioned before that I married into a family that is pretty big on their Swedish heritage. (Check out my Gluten-Free Princess Cake.) We have a big Swedish Christmas Eve every year with some amazing Swedish Meatballs... that reminds me, I need to get my husband to add that recipe to the "Man Corner." Anyhoo, I discovered this recipe a few Christmases ago when I was looking for a new kind of cookie to add to our Sweets Table.
What? You don't have a Sweets Table at Christmas??? Add that to your Holiday To-Do List, stat!
My aunt does a Sweets Table and I love it, so now we do it, too. In addition to all your other Christmas decorating (I know, why am I adding more to your plate?!), set yourself up with a card table, throw on a festive tablecloth and fill-- I mean, FILL-- that table with bottomless plates of cookies, bowls of holiday-themed Hershey Kisses, jars of candy canes, and to please the healthy people in your family, a bowl of clementines and an assortment of mixed nuts. Leave the table out all holiday season. Trust me, everything will get eaten. Aside from cutting down the tree and the presents, I think it might be my kids' favorite holiday tradition. It's one of mine at least.
But, I digress. Right, havreflarn. I found this recipe when I was looking for a new cookie to add to our Sweets Table. I wanted it to be semi-Scandinavian and relatively easy to convert to gluten-free. Jackpot! Havreflarn, aka Swedish Oat Cookie, only uses 1 tablespoon of flour. JUST ONE TABLESPOON! That's a no-brainer when converting recipes to gluten-free. Add to that, the recipe doesn't require any waiting for butter to come to room temperature or even the use of your stand mixer! Double jackpot!
These cookies are lacey and fragile though, so you do have to watch them as they bake to avoid over-crisping.... or, ahem, burning them. They don't always call for a drizzle of chocolate, but what cookie wouldn't taste better with a drizzle of chocolate, I ask you. I've tried coating the bottoms in chocolate, as well... but I've come to the conclusion that that's too much chocolate (doesn't seem possible, I know) and that drizzling is really the way to go.
If you try to make havreflarn for your Holiday Sweets Table, they freeze up nicely making it much easier to restock the table throughout the holiday.
HAVREFLARN, aka SWEDISH OAT COOKIE, approx 18 bigger cookies
100 grams butter (a little less than 1 stick)
- 100 grams rolled oats (Make sure your oats are certified GF. I use Bob's Red Mill.)
- 150 grams caster sugar (Don't panic, you can make this easily out of granulated sugar.)
- 1 egg
- 1 TBSP gluten-free flour blend
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
Ok, first up, how to make caster sugar. As far as I can tell from The Google, caster sugar is simply more finely-ground white sugar, but not so finely-ground that is is powdered sugar. I've never even attempted to buy caster sugar in the States. I just make it and you can, too! Pull out your trusty food processor, measure out 150 grams of granulated sugar and give it a whizz or two (as Jamie Oliver would say) until the sugar seems like it is getting finer. Like I said before, it should not be as fine as powdered sugar, so don't whizz it up too much. Re-weigh your sugar. You'll probably end up with a little more than you need, so toss or save your extra for another bake. (I know that makes no scientific sense, but my casterized sugar always weighs more than it did in it's regular old granulated form.)
Now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a pot, start your butter melting slowly. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together your egg and caster sugar until the mixture becomes pale. Work it, work it! Check your butter. Once it has melted, stir in the oats. Add the melted butter and oat mixture to the egg & sugar mixture. Finally add the flour and baking powder and mix well until fully-combined.
For the purposes of this recipe, I'm going to assume that you're making cookies that are on the larger-size (like I did), but I think these are actually supposed to be about half the size that I make them. They really spread out, so leave ample room between cookies as you spoon the very wet batter onto the cookie sheets.
Bake 8-9 minutes, rotating your pans half-way through the bake time. Remember to really keep an eye on your cookies for the last 3 minutes or so of baking.... because the cookies are so thin, it is easy to go from golden delicious to dark burnt.
Let your cookies cool slightly on the tray before removing them to a rack to finish cooling. If you place your rack on another cookie sheet, you'll have a much easier post-chocolate-drizzle clean-up. Speaking of chocolate drizzle, let's get that chocolate melting. The cookies are pretty sweet, so I think the darker the chocolate the better for the drizzle. If you're a milk chocolate fan though, use milk chocolate. The world is your oyster.
Using either a double-boiler, a gentle microwave or a heavy-bottomed pot, stir together the vegetable oil and chocolate chips until the chips have completely melted. At this point, your cookies should be cooled off as well. So, grab a small spatula, spoon or even a squirt bottle if you're feeling fancy, and put on your best Jackson Pollack face and start drizzling. I usually let my kids help with this, so we end up with some clumps of chocolate and the chocolate drizzle is nowhere near as elegant as I'd like it to be. But, we're making memories here, goshdarnit! And, besides, chocolate is tasty in clumps and fine strands, am I right!?
Let the chocolate cool completely before stacking the cookies on a plate or into your freezer. Once cooled and hardened, these are good to go. Now, go fill your Sweets Table! Happy Holidays!