The 7 Cookie Rule

For Christmas and other special occasions my Grandmother would bring out her four tiered cookie tray loaded with many different types of cookies.  I never thought; why so many different types of cookies, I just thought I was fortunate to have such a talented, amazing Grandmother.  Little did I know these cookies were stemmed in a deep tradition of the Swedish 7 cookie rule.  Jump forward 30 years and I am talking with Gunilla Wilson the Butik manager and also an Al's original Swedish waitress and I mention I was thinking of baking cookies for everyone.  She said, "that would be nice but that's a lot of cookies to make."  I causally replied back that I will just make a large batch, and she told me that it in Sweden when you bake cookies for people you need to make seven different types of cookies and it was considered improper to make less.  That was when the bell went off in my head that was why my Grandmother made such a variety for holidays.  That was also when I decided to do a deep dive on this tradition.  The first place I went was to my trusty copy of Al Johnson's Cakes and Cookies Cookbook which is our branded version of the "Sju Sorters Kakor" which translates to seven kinds of cakes of which I didn't know until I read the forward (which I highly recommend).  This book was put together in 1945 just after World War II and asked for recipes to be submitted for a contest and they received over 8000 which was a tremendous response at the time, and many of those recipes made it into this cookbook.  I went further into the book and found the cookie section.  The main thing that jumped out at me was a lot of the cookies had the same base recipe but had one slight variation like adding chopped almonds or jam in a thumbprint.  I think the beauty in this was it made it easier to achieve the seven cookie rule. So this past holiday season with my family helping out we achieved the Swedish 7 cookie rule, and had a great and tasty time doing it.