I was introduced to many unfamiliar baked goods while in Sweden. Dammsugare, an old Swedish classic, means “vacuum cleaner” and is made to resemble the cylinders of old vacuum cleaners. There is also a theory that they were created as a way to use the leftover cake crumbs at the end of the day (“vacuumed” up), since cake crumbs are used in the filling. I was reluctant to try this green colored confection, but I am so glad I did. The unexpected flavors combined to create a lasting tasteful memory. When I returned home I researched recipes and each one is a bit different. I learned that most Swedes purchase theirs, and after making these from scratch, I understand why. One must already have a batch of cookies or cake to provide the interior crumb base. The secret ingredient that exhilarated my taste buds is Swedish punsch (arrack or aniseed liqueur). While making the marzipan, I tried a batch with bitter almond extract from Sweden. Wow – so pleasingly potent! The surprise ingredient in the marzipan is rose water. It is subtle amidst all the almond flavor, but adds a floral depth. After making the filling and marzipan, I took all the pieces of leftover delicious chocolate bars from 2018 and melted them for the final dip. I don’t know how many pounds of chocolate I brought back from Scandinavia to give as gifts and to replace the stash I keep in my desk, but the customs officer did remark on how I must love chocolate. I brought back many pounds of something else, but that’s a story for another day…I’ll just say the extra bags were worth it!

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