editor’s note: This was a recipe from my good friend Sandy, who was quite proud of her Swedish heritage. Rusk can, in general, refer to any hard, twice-baked bread, but this is no zwieback or melba toast. This is an amazing almond rusk, or mandel skorper. Similar cookies/biscuits are found in other countries, such as the Italian biscotti or the Yiddische mandelbrodt, but I am partial to this one.
It keeps forever, travels well, and is perfectly suited to afternoon coffee or tea.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- (optional 1 tsp cardamom)
Step n a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in almonds.
- On a greased baking sheet, shape the dough into two 11-in. x 3-1/2-in. rectangles. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a cutting board; cut with a serrated knife into 3/4-in. slices. Place cut side down on greased baking sheets.
- Bake at 325° for 10-12 minutes; turn slices over. Bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove to a wire racks to cool. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.