Popular as a Christmas treat or as a season gift, we bring you the real deal: Danish butter cookies (vaniljekranse). They're amazing!
Why we ❤️ it
One of the most wonderful things about cooking is that it brings cultures and people together. Our holiday table is joined by dishes that come from many places, some we may know little about.
One of those holiday traditions is Danish sugar cookies (those that come in decorated tins that then turn into sewing kits) that come to us from a country on the other side of the world that I do know: Denmark.
When my Danish husband spent his first Christmas in our country he was not very impressed with the Danish cookies you buy in the supermarket. After eating them fresh and handmade I understood the reason for his lack of enthusiasm. The difference in taste and texture is huge. Just prepare these, serve with coffee, and you'll see.
What are vaniljekranse
Danish butter cookies are ring-shaped (or vaguely pretzel-looking) and are called Vaniljekranse or vanilla wreaths (like the wreaths that are placed on the doors of the houses at Christmas).
These cookies take only a few ingredients and are easy to obtain: all-purpose flour, peeled almonds, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and - of course - butter. It is important to use fresh and good-quality ingredients for the best flavor and results.
They should all be at room temperature at the time of preparation.
About this recipe
This Danish butter cookies recipe is based mostly on two danish Christmas cookies recipes (with some major modifications): the recipe in the book Dining with the Danes by Lynn Andersen [Amazon affiliate link], and on my Danish mother-in-law's recipe. It's one of my favorite cookie recipes
Don't be intimidated by the idea of baking these, I assure you it's easier than it looks, and with so many cookies you can give away and share with your friends and families.
This recipe yields about 18 cookies, or 6 servings of 3 cookies each.
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- Mixing dry ingredients: Put the almonds in the food processor and grind until it has the texture of brown sugar with tiny grains.In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and ground almonds. Use a wire whisk to stir until well combined.
- Mixing: Mix the dry ingredients and butter over medium speed in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment until everything is thoroughly combined.Add the egg and vanilla into the mixture, and beat until combined.
- Making the cookies: Put the cookie dough in a piping bag with a medium, open star tip.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Form 1 ½-inch diameter rings with the pastry bag on the prepared baking sheet. You can make other shapes by experimenting with another piping tip.Place it in the refrigerator until the oven is heated at 350°F [175 °C].
- Baking: Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.Remove from oven and place on a wire rack until they cool to room temperature. When they reach room temperature, place them in an airtight container and store them.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
Published Dec 23, 2011, revised