Swedish Dammsugare

liladammsugare2Here's a special treat for Easter - classic Swedish "dammsugare". The name means "vaccum cleaners", and that's a very strange name for a cookie indeed. The reason? Well, traditionally these are made with lime-green marzipan and chocolate dipped ends, and maybe there was an early vaccum cleaner model that looked like that..? I really don't know, and there doesn't seem to be a simple answer out there, so it'll have to remain a mystery.

And it has many names, "dammsugare" just happens to be most widely used one. "Punschrulle" is also quite common, getting it's name from the liqueur used to flavor the filling. Punsch, as I've written before, is made from arrak and very sweet. If you can't find it, try using something like Amaretto or Frangelico instead - won't be the same, but it'll be really good.

It's impossible to give exact measures here. A lot depends on the type of crumbs you use. I had biscotti crumbs, but if you use something like pound cake, you're getting a much softer texture and might need less alcohol and more sugar to firm it up. My advice is to have extra of everything, and add more as you go along to get a good, firm, rollable texture.

I made marzipan from almond paste, some glucose and powdered sugar, but it's easier to buy ready-made and ready-colored marzipan. You will need about 300-350 g - I ran out and had to throw out the extra filling.


Swedish Dammsugare
about 40 cookies

200 g cake or cookie crumbs (as long as they're neutral in flavor, use anything)
150 g butter, softened
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp punsch liqueur

marzipan, see above
150 g dark chocolate, melted

Start by placing the crumbs in a bowl - a regular bowl if you're doing this by hand or with handheld beaters, or in the bowl of your Kitchen-Aid if you have one. Mix in the butter, and then cocoa, powdered sugar and punsch. You need a fairly firm dough, that can easily be shaped, so add ingredients accordingly - and taste it, too.

Roll out thin logs of the dough, and place in the fridge to firm up. Roll out the marzipan and shape it around the dough logs. Place them with the seam-side down, and cut into smaller lengths.

Dip the ends in melted chocolate, and something more if you like - I used some colored sugar, but sprinkles, crushed nuts or coconut would also be nice.

Keep them in a cool place. And if you can stand it, they're better the day after they're made... 

Caramel-Coconut Cheesecake with Pineapple-Rum Topping

Crust: 2 cups/180g graham cracker crumbs, crushed (may substitute 1/2 cup crushed macadamias if desired)
1 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
1/4 tsp lime zest

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together, and press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan or cake pan lines with parchment. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Lower oven to 325.

3 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese
1 cup /180g golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk (found on the ethnic aisle, NOT cream of coconut you use for drinks)
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp coconut rum (recommended: Malibu)
1 tbsp flour

Beat softened cream cheese until very smooth. Add sugar, and beat again, scraping bowl as needed. Add eggs, and coconut milk, scraping well after each addition. Add extract, rum, and flour, and mix until well-blended.
Pour into crust, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until cheesecake is mostly set but center still wobbles like jell-o. Internal temperature should read about 165.
Set on a rack to cool at room temperature for one hour, then refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Unmold, slice, and top with Pineapple Rum Topping:

Pineapple Rum Topping:
2 cups fresh chopped pineapple
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp rum pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in saute pan and heat until syrup has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Serve over cheesecake.

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