Recipe: Fattigman or Klejner Cookies aka “poor man’s cookies”

blog fattigman

Fattigman Cookies. Yum.

Fattigman Cookies, like so many other goodies on here, are Scandinavian. As such, they were a fond part of my childhood.

They are so interestingly shaped, I think. I remember spending a few too many minutes trying to untie the cookies, endlessly curious about how they came to be tied that way.

What is interesting to me about these cookies is the cardamom–this is a spice that is very strong and used in Indian cuisine. Infact, I can’t think of any other European foods that call for this spice (except for other Norse baked treats). Cardamom is related to the ginger root…considering this is the region that also brought us the Ginger Snap Cookie, this kind of makes sense to me.

Its smell is distinctive. But, like many things, cardamom loses its potency quickly after it is ground, so it is ideal to get it whole–in pods.  The conversion for this is about 6-7 pods equals a teaspoon of ground. But don’t worry if you can’t find whole cardamom; just get the best-quality ground black cardamom you can find.

blog fattigman cutter

Click for additional fattigman recipes and to order this specialty cutter.

The cookies do require some special equipment, namely a special cutter.

This recipe is from


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Baker’s (superfine) sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cognac or brandy (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (whipped to stiff peaks)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • vegetable / canola oil for frying
  • vanilla sugar or confectioner’s sugar


Cream together the eggs, sugar, and brandy (if using). Stir in the melted butter. Gently fold the whipped cream into the batter. Sift together the remaining ingredients; with a light hand, mix the dry ingredients into the batter to form a soft dough. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Roll the chilled dough out on a floured counter to an 1/8″ thickness. Using a fattigman cutter or a pastry cutter, cut the dough into diamond shapes (approximately 1 1/4″ wide by 3 1/2″ long. If using a pastry cutter: cut the dough first into 1 1/4″ inch strips and then cut across these diagonally to form diamonds. Use a knife to cut a 1/2″ slash in the middle of each diamond). Twist one corner of each diamond up through the center slash to make a knot.

Heat two inches of vegetable / canola oil in the bottom of a heavy pot to 375.º Drop in the pastry knots and fry until golden, turning occasionally. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with vanilla sugar or confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately (Note: if preparing ahead, store in an airtight container without sprinkling with sugar. Warm in a low oven before serving, then sprinkle with the sugar).


Recipe: Morning Glory Muffins (dairy-free)

I had never heard of these things until I moved to Twin Falls, Idaho.

There, at Java, were these monstrous brown things with specks of orange. I was afraid; very afraid.

I didn’t spend the $2.25 on one for several years. The first time I even tried it was when it came inside a white “day old” bag, along with a blueberry muffin. But after that day, I was hooked.

I would feed it to my baby; Logan would happily munch on it for the entire stroller ride home from the coffee shop. We went every Saturday and Sunday morning, Logan, Matt and I, to read the paper, see our friends, and wake up to some great coffee and baked goods. I miss that. A lot.

When we moved out here to Va/DC,  I wasn’t prepared for how much I’d miss Idaho, or what I’d miss about it.  I didn’t realize I’d miss our little coffee shop back home or that it would be so hard to replace. I miss Java. Especially on the weekends. But I became just a teeny bit less homesick when I stood in line at our new coffee shop, St. Elmo’s,  and saw Morning Glory muffins in the bakery case for sale.

This place will never be home…but maybe it will be OK after all.

This recipe was originally created in 1978 by Chef Pam McKinstry on Nantucket Island. It was later published by Gourmet Magazine in 1981, and again featured in Gourmet ten years later as one of the publication’s 25 favorite recipes of all time. For more about the recipe, click here:  Recipe:

This recipe is already dairy-free.

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

3/4 cup Earthbound Farm Organic Raisins

1 large organic apple, peeled and grated

1 cup (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Sift or whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots, and nuts, and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend well.

Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling

Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

Logan, still in his apron, tryin to eat every last Oatmeal-Raisin Muffin crumb off the Dinosaur wrapper.

Logan, still in his apron, tryin to eat every last Oatmeal-Raisin Muffin crumb off the Dinosaur wrapper.

This is the food I remember most from my childhood. Or, at least the smell.

Allspice mixed with Vanilla was the smell I woke up to from Kindergarten to fourth grade, before walking to school down a dirt road that was more like a trail through the trees. At 7am I’d come upstairs and Mom would be in the kitchen, with a bowl of Oatmeal Raisin muffins fresh from the oven, wrapped up in a dish towel. She never used paper liners for her muffins, they always seemed to just pop out of the pan. I haven’t perfected that yet.

Today, 20+ years later, is exactly the kind of morning that reminds me of those muffins: Raining for 36 hours straight, the heater was turned on for the first time of the season. The view from the living room window is warm, with maples coloring the horizon orange and crimson and gold and brown, with some green leaves still holding on, trying, hoping to be the last to drop. Like a game of Survivor.

It smells like fall. It smells like Sears catalogs and rain boots and Elmer’s Glue. It smells like childhood.

Days like this make me want to bake muffins, like my mom used to. So I did. And so now it also smells like allspice and vanilla.

Logan helped. He got ingredients out from the fridge; he poured and measured and mixed. He even lined the muffin pan with dinosaur cupcake liners.

He wanted to smell the allspice when I opened it.

“What is that?” he asked. “Yumm. Yes, put that in there” he said, directing me to add the allspice. It makes me wonder if he would have added it even if the recipe didn’t call for it; has this little boy been baking with me so long that he lets his nose guide him? Does he have an instinct for what goes together? Or is he just being 5?

” It smells like cinnamon and mace. Is it called allspice because it is all spices?” Logan asked. i agreed that it did sort of smell like mace and cinnamon–and cloves. So we got the cloves out, too, to do a comparison. But we didn’t add them to the mix.

He read on the recipe the word “milk”. He insisted on smelling the vanilla before deciding to pour it in himself. Who needs measuring spoons? If it smells good, add as much as you like.

He insisted on licking the spatula…he is the taste-tester, after all.

Logan is the same age I was when my mom made these muffins. And I am the same age my mom was when she made these muffins. It feels like a gift from my childhood to his: warm breakfast fresh from the oven, heating up the house on a cold, wet day, and the smell of allspice and vanilla.

This recipe is from

To make this recipe Dairy-Free: replace milk with So Delicious Coconut Milk, vanilla or original 


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup quick-cook oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/4 cups milk ** or So Delicious Coconut Milk, original or vanilla
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1. Heat oven to 375. Coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
  • 2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, both sugars, baking powder, allspice and salt. Stir in oatmeal, raisins and nuts. In medium-size bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in oil, milk and vanilla to combine; stir gently into flour mixture; do not overmix.
  • 3. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden on top. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Recipe: Coconut Cookies

When I taught journalism and English at a little college in Idaho, my office was kitty-corner to the cafeteria.

On more than one occasion, I bought lunch. And dinner.  We worked long hours in the student newsroom, so I was thankful to have someone just steps away making food for my crew…and myself.

Granted, often times the food was, well, cafeteria food. But they also regularly featured coconut cookies.

While I’ve had some bad chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies with an after taste and even funky smelling oatmeal raisin cookies, I’ve never had a bad coconut cookie. Not even in a cafeteria…which is known for taking what was once great food and turning it into something totally unrecognizable. Think lasagna with cottage cheese or enchiladas with Velveeta. Or, my personal nightmare, egg salad with egg substitute.

But the coconut cookies were always good. No matter the main dish, the coconut cookies elevated it to something worth eating.

Today, I made coconut cookies for the first time. And while I miss the teaching and coaching and advising that used to go along with my coconut cookies at the college, I must say that these cookies coming out of my oven as I write this taste a heck of a lot better than the ones at the college ever did. And that’s saying something.

This recipe is inspired by one at, but has several modifications.

To make Dairy-Free: Swap the butter for Earth Balance


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter ** replace with Soy-Free Earth Balance
  • 3/4cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 entire 7oz package flaked coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, then mix in the coconut. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks.

Recipe: Southern Mayo Biscuit Rolls

These things are like the hermaphrodites of dinner sides. Is it a biscuit? Is it a roll? It has elements of both, but isn’t exclusively either.

What it is, however, is good. And easy. I made these tonight to have with ham and green beans…and they were a big hit. That was a relief, because the biscuits I tried to make last night weren’t. Logan took one bite, spit it out and said, “This hurts my tongue.”

These Southern Mayo Biscuits, though, had a very different response from my Taste-Tester: “Yummmmmm!” These biscuit-rolls things are very filling and moist; they are substantial. In a good way.

The dough was very wet; not something you roll out.  But, it makes for a very smooth biscuit as it bakes. It would also make a great base recipe for other flavors–like garlic & cheddar or chives and other herbs…maybe even jalapeño and cheese. You could also swap out the milk for buttermilk to change up the flavor a bit. I’m also thinking that this roll or biscuit or Riscuit, as I will now call it, would be amazing with some jam baked in…like a scone.

…This recipe only calls for three ingredients; One of which I didn’t even have: self-rising flour.

But I didn’t even have the baking powder to make self rising flour…I had to make my Baking Powder from scratch, which is surprisingly easy: 1:2:1

1 part Baking Soda + 2 parts Cream of Tarter +1 part Corn Starch=Baking Powder

This recipe is from


  • 2 cups self-rising flour (or for each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, milk, and mayonnaise until just blended. Drop by spoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.