I decided to do a tutorial, primarily for the girls (that would be you, Trisha and Angie).
My mom made her braided Swedish coffee bread (yeast bread) into rusks when I was young but in her later years she started using this Almond Rusk recipe recipe.
It is quite a bit easier (faster) and very, very yummy.
(The Italians call this biscotti, but for we Swedes, it's rusks.)
Sum total of ingredients:
I love that I have this recipe in my mom's handwriting, also.
Start by creaming together 1 cup shortening with 1.5 cups sugar. Add 2 eggs and
4 tsp almond extract.
Meanwhile, mix the following together in a bowl:
5 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon cardamom.
Add that to the creamed mixture, alternately with 1 cup sour cream.
My very old $10 hand mixer does fine, until it gets really thick.
Then you will need to use a spoon.
Before the last addition of flour, add 1 cup chopped almonds (can be very coarse).
This will now be very hard to stir.
That is okay.
Things are going to get messy, so now is the time to take off your rings.
And here's the really messy part. Generously grease your hands with butter.
Grab a glob of the very sticky dough and shape it into a fat log and lay it on a
greased cookie sheet.
Start flattening it out until it is the length of the pan. This recipe will make 4 "logs" or loaves.
(I doubled the recipe this time.)
Don't those veins look like an easy IV stick?
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Carefully slide off the cookie sheet onto a cooling rack.
The house will now be full of the fragrance of almond and cardamom.
If that doesn't make you happy, I don't know what will.
Cool until you can slice each loaf into desired size
(about 20 slices per loaf, but I never count or measure).
Then place the slices back on the cookie sheets, leaving some air-space between each slice.
Now bake (or as my mom's recipe says, "toast")
at 225 degrees for 30-60 minutes, until quite dry.
Cool again and place in airtight container.
These will keep for a long time at room temperature.
Best dipped in coffee or milk.
They watched over the whole process and didn't even get a taste.
Wish I could thank Mom for this wonderful taste memory.