Monday, March 11, 2013

Swedish Heirloom Cookies

"We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters" -Gloria Steinem

Somebody posted this quote on New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s facebook wall on International Women's day. Reading the quote made me seriously think about how I am raising my kids. I kept thinking it is so true how we tell our girls that they don’t have to be pushed aside in sports or study and how they are equally equipped like their male counterparts to take on challenges. However, when it comes to my son I wondered if I am making sure that I talk to him about being polite and gentle, and being more thoughtful about how he behaves in public like I educate my girl.

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I am lucky to have had the privilege of being raised by a father who thought both men and women are equal, and now to be married to a man who thinks the same. I know women who have not been as lucky as me. I am sure we all know somebody who was at the receiving end of an abusive male in their lives. Using brute force to prove a point than strategy or reason which most women employ to prove their point according to me is not manly but plain crude.

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I want my son to grow up with the values like that of his father and grandfather. He should treat all individuals as equals. And same is the case for my daughter. She shouldn’t get the idea that she cannot do something just because she is a girl. They both shouldn’t look at other kids and judge them based on their gender, color, size or anything physical. We are thinking beings making us above and beyond our physical.

Each child is a different individual. We have to accept them as they are. We don’t have to treat our sons or daughters differently. I have seen parents who proudly say that their son is ‘such a boy’. ‘Such a boy’ translates usually to bullying, hyper and boisterous. We all know there are girls who behave just like ‘such a boy’ too. Why do we stereotype behaviors and allow our boys to punch or hurt others. Yes, they have different hormones and are wired differently but condoning and often brushing off a hit or fight your boys get into as merely “boys will be boys” is not acceptable. The times we live in are different. We don’t like war or dictatorship and have come a long way into becoming more civil and amicable. Human beings are complicated organisms and I don’t think we should reduce people or children to stereotypes of even different sexes apart from the physical aspects. When we talk about complicated organisms I allude to the brain and I believe both sexes have been equally adorned with smart and intelligent brain cells.

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It is ok if your son is not aggressive and do not bully other kids. It is ok if he is not ‘such a boy’.
Teach your kids to treat others, how they want to be treated! Teach them to become great human beings! What do you have to say about raising your sons without bullying or violence and your girls not to be timid but stand up to voice their opinion? While we send our girls for karate and active sports to be capable of self-defense shouldn't we teach our sons to be calm and not hit other kids in anger but instead use their high energy in constructive and productive avenues of sports which needs strength, stamina and restraint?

Swedish heirloom cookies_for blog

Story apart, today’s recipe is a super simple, yet super tasty walnut cookie. They are very similar to Russian tea cakes/Mexican wedding cookies. But in this recipe, the nuts are not ground. You could make them in 10 minutes and store them for a long time in an airtight container. Try them out while you mull over what I had to talk about raising kids and please let me know what you think.

Preparation Time: 20 min
Baking Time: 12 min
Yield: ~ 3 dozen
Adapted From: Saveur


Unsalted Butter- 1 cup
Confectioner's sugar- 1 cup
Pure Vanilla Extract- 1 Tbsp
Flour- 2 cups
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Walnuts, toasted and chopped- 1 1/4 cup


1.Preheat oven at 325 degree F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep aside.
2.Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Add vanilla and beat in to mix well.
3.Sieve the flour and salt together into the mixing bowl and beat until it is incorporated well.
Fold in the nuts.
4.Using a round teaspoon, place and shape the dough into slightly flattened balls, on parchment paper. Place each cookie 2 inches apart.
5.Bake for about 12 min or until light golden brown.
6.Cool on a wire rack.


1.Optionally, roll the cookies in confectioner's sugar and cool them. I completely omitted this step, still they tasted great and sweet.
2.The recipe says, this is best when you use black walnuts. I didn't have any, so I used the regular walnuts.
3.This keeps good for several weeks ,if you store them in an airtight container.


  1. Very well said dear... Both have equal rights n that culture is growing now... My girl also wants to do whatever his brother does... Btw.. Simple recipe n awesome clicks

  2. Beautiful cookies, i should try these as i am not the regular chocolate chip cookie person. Looks really good.
    I totally agree with your point here...Nicely written :)

  3. Very well written post . I hope all mothers of boys think like you do, so our daughters have men not bullies when they grow up. It all starts from home !!

    Love the cookies but really loved reading your post .

    1. Thanks so much ! You are absolutely right, it all starts from home :)

  4. Omg, are these the same walnut cookies you had made over the holidays? They were delicious!

    And you have no reason to fret. Your son is such a kind soul. So loving and giving and quite the artist! (I still have his paintings!) Children learn from their parent's behavior first and you & M set such a good example. Your children are a delight to be with.

    Love this post!

    1. Yes, they are. It took me so long to post it here ;)

      Thanks so much, you are so sweet as ever. When you hear someone saying that you are doing it(parenting) right, that's an award !

  5. Namitha, very thought provoking. I have 2 sons so I don't know how it is to raise daughters! But I have always made it very clear to my sons that we women are in no way inferior to men. When they sometimes complain about how girls in their class make fun of them, are manipulative etc, I always try to reason it out with them. I have made it very clear that they should always respect women including me, my helper, their friends etc! Yummy recipe too!

    1. M, I am sure your boys are just wonderful. I know it is not so easy to teach them these things.

  6. U r so right about ur thoughts ,..:)

  7. Well said dear. I'd always tell my son to respect everyone especially girls, whether older or younger than him.

    My daughter behaves more like a boy

    Cute cookies!!!

  8. I absolutely second Manisha's comment. Children learn at home, it is our (parents/elders) attitude, values and behavior that they observe and ape. Their formative years are so crucial to the kind of person they turn out to be and it is sad that quite a few parents miss out on the importance of instilling good values and discipline in their kids.

    1. Absolutely. Home is the primary school for character development ! I still don't get how some parents can just ignore bad behavior from their kids, that only means one thing, they just don't care about their little ones

  9. Totally agress with ur thoughts,well written dear.

    Those cookies are excellent and love the nuttiess.

  10. Well written dear and I totally agree with u... And the cookies look so yum and crunchy

  11. looks soo tempting n delicious..

  12. Love the combinations in this cookies and great clicks :) would love to try this sometime

  13. I absolutely agree with your thoughts Namitha...very well said and such thoughts have been going over my head as well as I have a little son now, and how I must bring him up instilling good values and respect for everyone including girls and women.

    The cookies are looking cute btw and I love anything with nuts in it, ground or whole :-)


  14. I totally agree to whatever you have said..I teach my son the same :)

  15. These cookies look delicious, but I think I love the words in this post just a little more. Such beautiful words of wisdom.

  16. Beautifully written Namitha and love that quote. If it is important to teach our girls how to behave it is even more important that we teach the boys how to respect and treat the opposite gender. That will solve all those countless problems that a woman faces in the society. It is a responsibility of parents to raise and lead them to a better future. And I hope they don't have to worry about their daughters security like we do today.
    And I love those cookies.

  17. Well written, Namitha. I'm sure your boy would grow respecting women since he has you to teach him all the good values :)

    Love this cookies -- so comforting :)

  18. Its been a long long time i came here...
    loved reading wht u wrote And so true what u wrote!

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  20. I agree with all you've said - it's so essential to bring boys up to be respectful towards women. Well written!
    The cookies look great too, by the way. ;-)

  21. waooo looks soo cute and tempting...

  22. You are lucky to have a father like that.
    Agree to what Gloria Steinem says.

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