Prep Cook Ready In
1 hour 12 minutes 1 hour 12 minutes

Icelandic Jewish Cookies Recipe

These spiced butter cookies are so easy to make!

This recipe for gyðingakökur, “Jewish cookie” in Icelandic, comes from The Culinary Saga of New Iceland, Recipes From the Shores of Lake Winnipeg compiled by Kristin Olafson Jenkyns, a writer with forbearers from Iceland. Her book documents the history and culinary traditions of immigrants from Iceland who settled in North America at the end of the 19th century. 


For the dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 egg

For the topping: 

  • 1 cup cold, strong coffee
  • 1 cup blanched slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup crushed sugar lumps (coarse bits, not fine)


1. Stir flour, salt, and cardamom together.

2. Work the butter into the flour mixture by rubbing it between your fingers, as if you were making a pie crust.

3. Beat egg with a fork and add to dough. Combine well.

4. Wrap in wax paper. Chill thoroughly (at least 1 hour) until firm.

5. Roll out dough on wax paper until 1/8 inch thick. Cut in 11/2 inch rounds with a cutter. Brush tops with coffee; mix the almonds and sugar and sprinkle generously on top. Press down gently with your hand to help the almond-sugar mixture stick. Place on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  

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