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Norwegian Cinnamon Thumbs & HUGE News!

scandinavian christmas cookies

Cinnamon Thumbs in just a minute. Let’s just cut straight to the huge news because I’m bursting at the seams to share it: I’m writing a book! That bears repeating: I’m writing a book! Talk about dreams coming true. 

It will be called Scandinavian Gatherings, it will be filled with delicious recipes and charming projects inspired by the flavors and style of Scandinavia, and it will be published in the Fall of 2016 by Sasquatch Books!

Believe it or not, that’s really soon in the publishing world, and I’m up to my elbows every day in old family recipes and flour. It’s a project that I’ve been chipping away at for years thanks to an idea from my Norwegian grandpa, and at the beginning of 2014, I finally decided to quit tinkering with the it and to just go for it with gusto. Whole hog. Jumping in with both feet.

I created an entire sample chapter with pictures from a huge photo shoot I did in my garage one Sunday morning. I hired an illustrator to create some gorgeous artwork and a talented friend to do hand-lettered titles. I spent hours polishing a lengthy book proposal and querying agents.

And I’m just giddy and still a little in awe that all of that hard work is paying off in a big, beautiful way, and that this book that’s only existed in my head until now is going to become a real book that I can hold in my hands and see on bookstore shelves!

I have to say a huge thank you to all of the people who have supported this book from its humble beginning so many years ago–my parents, grandparents, and siblings, and my wonderful husband and children. More gratitude for my friends in the blogging world who have given me encouragement and friendship, and for my agent Mackenzie Brady and her assistant Danielle Barthel at New Leaf Literary for working tirelessly on my behalf. I got to have lunch with them when I was in New York last Fall, and I think “I’m meeting my agent for lunch in New York” might be the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to say.

To give you a little sneak peek at what’s in store in Scandinavian Gatherings, I wanted to share this recipe for Norwegian Cinnamon Thumbs. These sweet, buttery cookies are so tender they practically melt in your mouth. They have a flavor and texture similar to shortbread, and a delicious cinnamon-sugar coating. They’d be perfect for a holiday cookie exchange, but are easy enough to make for an after school snack or an afternoon coffee break.

My mom got the recipe decades ago from the Las Vegas chapter of the Sons of Norway, and my baby sister made them for her elementary school heritage day project. So you can eat them and feel like a viking!

scandinavian christmas cookies
Norwegian Cinnamon Thumbs are buttery sweet scandinavian cookies

Norwegian Cinnamon Thumbs

Yield: 4-5 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Buttery shortbread cookies rolled in the cinnamon sugar, these Scandinavian cookies are perfect for the holidays.


  • for the cookies
  • 5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar


    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    2. To make the cookies, beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add the flour and vanilla, and beat until the dough comes together.
    3. Take a small amount of dough (about the size of a tennis ball), and roll is gently into a long, skinny rope 1/2" in diameter (about the width of your pinky). Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 2" pieces, making sure to cute on the diagonal instead of straight across.
    4. Place cookies a few inches apart on a lined baking sheet, and bake 8-10 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden on the bottom edges. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool slightly.
    5. While cookies are cooling, combine the cinnamon and sugar for rolling in a small bowl. When cookies are cool enough to handle, roll each gently in cinnamon sugar, and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
scandinavian christmas cookies


29 thoughts on “Norwegian Cinnamon Thumbs & HUGE News!

  1. Congratulations on the book and I can’t wait to read it! I’m an American who has spent a lot of time living in Scandinavia (Denmark, to be precise) and I love everything about the way the Scandinavians celebrate and have a good time together. I’m sure your book will be beautiful, judging by your blog and Instagram account 🙂

  2. I love this! You are inspiring me to go hog wild and follow my dreams…as soon as I figure out what they are besides raising the kiddos. Seriously. Love your “go get ’em” attitude!!!

  3. oh my gosh, this is SO exciting. I lived for a summer in Helsinki and I feel like I have a bit of Scandinavian forever in my soul. I know your book will be beautiful – I’ll definitely be preordering it!

  4. Thank you this recipe!! It reminds me of a butter cookie my Grandmother would make for us !! I’m excited for your new cookbook!!

  5. I made these with a vegan cashew butter, as I can’t have dairy and they still turned out wonderful! I bet the dairy version is super amazing as well but definitely impressed.

    1. Sorry, Sydney. This is the only name I’ve ever called these. I will try to remember to ask my grandpa.

  6. I made these cookies for my granddaughter’s “heritage day” at school today. Apparently they were a huge hit as not a single crumb came back home. I’m glad that I ‘sampled’ a few as I was baking. They are so delicious! I will be adding them to my Christmas recipes for sure. The only problem I had was that they tended to spread a little as they baked. I solved that by taking two table knives and pressing gently against the sides of each hot cookie (immediately out of the oven) to sort of press them back into shape as they cooled. I think this really helped make them more ‘thumb” shaped. I don’t know if refrigerating them before baking would have helped or what, but this worked okay for me. I’m looking forward to getting your book just based on this ONE wonderful recipe and a new-found interest in Norwegian ancestory.

    1. I’m so sorry, Helen! I’m not sure what could have gone wrong. They are a very short, buttery cookies, but they should have worked.

  7. I’ve just stumbled on this recipe after a quick google search and reading through your blog I realised we have your here next to me, recently borrowed from our local library in Wellington, New Zealand!
    My daughter and I are completing the beautiful tray as a gift for my dad and we’re planning him a Norwegian feast for his birthday. Just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration and connecting us to our traditional foods and customs.

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