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+ servings

Finnish Spice Cookies or Nissu Nassu

A tradition spice cookie made in Finland during the holidays. Usually made in the shape of a pig.
Course Cookies
Keyword Christmas, cookies, Icing, Spice
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 5 dozen
Author Lynn / Turnips 2 Tangerines


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Royal Icing
  • 1 egg white, at room temperature
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  • Place flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves in medium bowl; stir to combine.
  • Beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down side of bowl once. Place water and baking soda in cup; stir until baking soda dissolves. Beat into butter mixture. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until dough forms, scraping down side of bowl once. (If dough is too crumbly, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until dough holds together)
  • Form dough into 2 discs; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Working with one disc at a time, unwrap dough and place on lightly floured surface. Roll out dough with lightly floured rolling pin to 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Cut dough with floured 3-inch pig shaped cookie cutter. Place cutouts 1-inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  • Gently press dough trimmings together; reroll and cut out more cookies. (Rerolled dough will produce slightly tougher cookies than the first rolling)
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Remove cookies with spatula to wire racks; cool completely.
  • Prepare Royal Icing: Beat egg white in small bowl with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar and almond extract. Beat at low speed until moistened. Increase mixer speed to high and beat until icing is stiff.
  • Spoon icing into pastry bag fitted with writing tip. Decorate cooled cookies with icing. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until set.
  • Store tightly covered at room temperature or freeze up to 3 months.


Recipe Note:  We prefer to use a 'clear' flavored extract for flavoring icing or in a glaze. Dark or light amber colored extracts such as vanilla extract tends make the icing an off white. Using clear extract keeps your icing or glaze a nice bright white.