Until the 1920s, biscuits were rarely baked in Finland, apart from in mansions and for festive occasions. Biscuit recipes were often carefully guarded secrets. They spread only in the 1920s and 1930s through cooking courses and domestic economy schools. At that time, coffee invitations became common, especially among richer Finnish families. The so-called ‘seven sorts’ rule was applied on these occasions: coffee had to be served with several different kinds of pastry – sweet buns, coffee cakes and biscuits, with a filled cake usually crowning the table. A selection of biscuits helped hostesses to meet the ‘seven sorts’ rule.Kaneliässät are traditional biscuits with a long history. Many Finns associate them with coffee served at Christmas. They are made with cinnamon-seasoned shortcrust pastry, which is twisted into thin bars, shaped into a letter ‘S’, and often coated with a cinnamon-sugar mix before baking. The biscuits can also be piped into an ‘S’ shape.
Beat the soft butter and brown sugar until light. Add the eggs one by one. Mix the cinnamon and baking powder with the flour and add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Stir into a smooth dough. Let the dough rest in cool place, for example in a refrigerator, for few hours. Roll the dough into strips about the thickness of your little finger. Cut the strips into 8-10 cm long pieces, and form the pieces into “S” shapes. Place the cookies on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake at 200°C for about 10 minutes.