It didn’t take long after moving to New York from northern Sweden in 2010 with her husband and eleven-month-old daughter for Ulrika Pettersson to want recreate the same cookies that her mother and grandmother taught her to bake.
Many of the recipes were the same that were once served at kaffereps, the 19th-century social custom of a ladies-only coffee gathering. Here, it became de rigueur for hostesses to serve exactly seven cookies. Seven. Fewer would give the appearance of being cheap, and more could make one appear uppity. It was also assumed that a hostess would select the finest of tableware and embroidered linens. These rules, of course, were all unwritten.
Ulrika, a graphic designer by trade, didn’t worry about such conventions when she first made cookies for her daughter’s birthday. The elegant treats took the edge off her homesickness and impressed enough partygoers that she began Unna Bakery, using ovens in the Hot Bread Kitchen incubator space in Harlem.
While unna means “to indulge” in Swedish, cookies are actually far less of an indulgence in Sweden than they are in America. In fact, the coffee/cookie break in Sweden (termed fika) is a common and practically culturally mandated part of workplace culture. It’s a way to connect with coworkers over something delicious – taking the time to make, share and appreciate simple pleasures. Fika also clears the head: “You get a proper break, even if it’s just 10 minutes. It’s when I get the most creative and can solve problems that were tricky just five minutes ago.”
We agree! Unna Bakery’s tender, buttery cookies, each with a secret ingredient or texture that makes them especially awesome, are capable of solving a whole lot of problems (so we’re making sure to have them on hand for important meetings)
The packaging – a modern nod to the beautiful lace tablecloths, vases of flowers and china patterns with porcelain stamps used at kaffereps – adds to their appeal. Made in small batches with mostly organic ingredients and no preservatives, Unna Bakery cookies are best to, as their box commands, enjoy now!