Swedish Rye Cookies Recipe

Powder-kissed and pretty, these Swedish Rye cookies are perfect for holiday cookie enthusiasts who are after a not-too-sweet, shortbread-style butter cookie.

Swedish Rye Cookies

Powder-kissed and pretty, these Swedish Rye cookies are perfect for holiday cookie enthusiasts who are after a not-too-sweet, shortbread-style butter cookie. I make them with a blend of rye and whole wheat pastry flours, and also break with tradition when it comes adding my secret ingredient. Because I love the taste of toasted rye bread slathered with cream cheese, I use a butter/cream cheese combination for the dough - instead of only butter.

Swedish Rye Cookie Recipe

I suspect you could experiment with other flours in place of the rye and expect good results - barley or oat flours might work well. I also got to thinking about doing a savory version of this cookie with herbs and grated cheese in place of most/all of the sugar - turning it into a buttery rye cream-cheese herb cracker...

Swedish Rye Cookie Recipe

I know right now many of you are on the lookout for Christmas cookie recipes, so I've compiled a bunch from past holidays into once place.

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Swedish Rye Cookie Recipe

I use whole wheat pastry flour here, but you can substitute unbleached all-purpose flour if you like.

1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup fine grain natural cane sugar, sifted

large grain sugar (for sprinkling)
organic powdered sugar (for snow)

Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the flours and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer (or by hand) beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, add the butter and do the same, mixing until the two are well combined. Beat in the sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir only long enough to combine the two. The dough should no longer be dusty looking. Turn the dough out onto the counter, knead once or twice to bring it together, shape into a ball, flatten, wrap in plastic and chill it in a refrigerator.

Heat your oven to 350F degrees, and arrange the racks in the top and bottom thirds.. When you are ready to roll out your cookies do so on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut into shapes with the cookie cutter of your choice. Place on the prepared baking sheets an inch apart, and sprinkle each cookie with a bit of large-grain sugar. Bake for six or seven minutes, just until cookies are fragrant, and getting a bit golden at the edges - avoid over-baking or they will come out on the dry side. Allow to cool, and dust cookies with a bit of powdered sugar.

Makes dozens of tiny cookies, less if you are cutting them larger.

Prep time: 30 minutes - Cook time: 7 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Oh yum. The savory version sounds like a winner.

Dawn in CA

I've never come across these before. They sound wonderful - especially with the secret ingredient. Couldn't agree more about the rye and cheese combination. I've been making Scandinavian cookies recently too - http://teach77.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/piparkakut/ - Think I'll make a batch of each for Christmas Day. Thank you! :)

Heidi, I am sure you know by now, but Nikki's Healthy Cookies were featured in the annual Washington Post Food Section Cookie edition. By my count that is two years in a row one of your recipes has made the list! Congrats


Oh wow, Heidi! I haven't made these inyears. I look forward to trying this recipe. Just perfect right now, with this weather...and some tea. Thank you so much for sharing. ;) C. (PS update your tweets, please!)


I am Scots, so grew up with shortbread, but this variation sounds delicious. I will be making them this weekend.


I can't wait to try these! Based on your suggestion, I've started using whole wheat pastry flour in pie crusts and cookies and I really like the results. Thanks for a unique recipe.


The rye flour sounds great. I'd love to see your savory version too--would you roll the dough thinner for savory? HS: You know, I think it's completely up to you. I think I would go thinner for a savory cracker with shredded cheese in it. That way it would have a bit more snap, and more of the cheese would get golden toasty. I would absolutely go extra thin if I would going to do any sort of dip or slather...

those cookies look so good!

I must make these immediately!

Coming from a Swedish background, my grandma always made Swedish rye bread. I've never heard of rye cookies though - these sound delicious!

I love this! It's nice to see something unique. And I'm always on the hunt for the next fun Swedish recipe :)

You've inspired me to rethink my holiday baking this year! I've already used some spelt flour successfully, and maple syrup instead of brown sugar. Rye flour sounds awfully interesting too. Thanks for all the great ideas all year round.

We just made these tasty cookies. They remind us of a more delicate version of an oat-cake or whole wheat digestive cookie. We love them. Thank you ~

And they're beautiful! I've never thought of using rye in cookies...I'm gonna have to try it!

I've never seen rye flour in a cookie recipe before. I love rye bread...sounds interesting! I was planning on making bread next week anyway...perhaps rye cookies are in the mix. If only I had more time...

Oh, my! Yet another cookie to add to my holiday collection.

These look great. My best friend in a shortbread afficionado, so I'm always on the lookout for new shortbreads to make for the holiday.

Yea! for the Swedish recipes...A family Holiday tradition of mine is Lefsa... and now possibly Swedish rye cookies!Anything rye is a sure bet with me! HS: Looks like you've got some great recipes on your site Christie. Keep at it!

What an interesting combination (but it looks like it really works)! Looks yummy!!


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