Fattigman (Poor Man Cookies) Recipe

Scandinavian Poor Man Cookies
Fattigman cookies, quickly fried and sprinkled with sugar. photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 48 cookies (24 servings)
Ratings (13)

Although made of almost the same ingredients as Goro, Norway's "affluent" cookies, poor man cookies are quickly fried rather than baked on an elegant cookie press.

What You'll Need

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

How to Make It

  1. 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.
  2. Roll the chilled dough out on a floured counter to a 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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).