Channeling the Cookie Monster within

Swedish Toscas satisfy Williamsport woman's sweet tooth

Swedish Toscas satisfy Williamsport woman's sweet tooth

March 03, 2003

Kathy Brody was a college student when she met her future husband John's family for the first time.

And at that meeting, she sampled a sweet taste of heaven that has become one of her hallmark cooking creations.

Growing up, the 44-year-old often baked. But she has shied away from creating dinner. That, she says, is a job for her husband of more than 20 years.

Instead, she focuses on dessert, which more often than not revolves around cookies. At Christmastime, her white chunk chocolate chip cookies, sometimes with raspberry jam on top, are always crowd pleasers. So are her Swedish Toscas, the unique creation made in small muffin tins. Passed down from her mother-in-law, the recipe has been in her husband's family for at least three generations stretching back to his roots in Austria-Hungary.

Brody remembers being bowled over by her first taste of the Swedish Toscas, when she was a sophomore in college. It signaled the start of another long relationship with a decadent after-dinner treat.


"I have a sweet tooth," she admits. "We go out to eat, and the first thing I look at is the dessert menu and decide what to eat off that. ... I've always had a real sugar craving."

In the second installment of In the Kitchen, a bi-weekly Sunday Lifestyle feature highlighting Tri-State cooks sharing their favorite recipes and the stories behind them, Brody talks with Staff Writer Kevin Clapp about the Cookie Monster within.

"Cookies," she says, "are my thing."

Why are your Swedish Toscas such a big hit?

Because, I think they're different from your typical cookie, your typical bar or drop cookie. These you make in the small muffin tins, and they're very unique. I've never seen anyone anywhere make them before, except from my husband's family. ... I get asked for the recipe all the time.

What do you like about them?

They're sweet and buttery, very buttery. The actual filling, people ask me if it's white chocolate. It's just a combination of almonds, heavy cream, butter, sugar and flour, but it's so rich people think it's white chocolate.

Sounds like they definitely satisfy the sweet tooth in folks.


Is it a difficult recipe?

It's not difficult, but it takes more time because you have to partially bake the shells, fill them and then put them back in (the oven), so it's a two-step process. It's more time-consuming than if you're doing a drop cookie or a bar cookie.

Is it worth the extra time?


When you first tried them, what stuck in your mind?

How different they are and how good they are.

Are they addictive?

To me, anything with sugar in it is addictive. I could eat a plate of these for dinner. Just forget real food and just eat cookies. ... I find just about any homemade cookie addictive.

Is it one of your favorite recipes?

Um-hmm. At Christmas, when people ask me to make cookies, it's probably one of the most requested cookies.

Can you talk about what it's like to be preserving a family tradition?

My husband's mother is deceased, she died in 1998, and I have a couple of recipes from her, and this is absolutely the family favorite. And it's a good feeling to make them and know every time I serve them my husband and son think of her, and the whole family does.

Do you have fun in the kitchen, or do you know someone who does? If so, let us know. We're looking for a few good cooks with stories to tell about their specialties and favorite dishes. Send

e-mail to, or write to The Herald-Mail Co., Lifestyle, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741..

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