Unless you’re from Denmark or have family from there, you may not know much about Danish Christmas customs or Danish Christmas cookies, which are one of their traditions.
Danish winters feature long, dark nights and plenty of cold weather and snow, so Danish Christmas traditions often revolve around food, warmth, and comfort.
Danish Christmas cookies and other sweets are a huge part of that.
There are plenty of typical Danish Christmas treats, but for this one, I’ve stuck solely to cookies and narrowed the list down to 10 of the most common.
Give them a try and see which ones you like the best. And don’t worry about trying to pronounce them.
You don’t need to be able to say the word to enjoy the cookie!
You might not be familiar with the word ‘vaniljekranse,’ but I’ve bet you’ve seen these wreath-shaped cookies in one of the numerous cookie tins you’ve bought over the years.
They’re crispy, buttery, and lightly flavored with vanilla extract. Best of all, their lovely wreath-like appearance makes them perfect for the holiday season.
If these are your favorite cookies to find in store-bought cookie tins, you’re in luck.
Now, you can make them yourself, saving you money and a trip to the store (assuming you have the ingredients on hand, of course).
If you enjoy crispy cookies but like a richer, spicier taste to that of vanilla, then you’ll likely prefer these Danish brunkager cookies instead.
You’ll make them with butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, almonds, and pistachios.
They’re nutty, incredibly spicy, and smell almost as good as they taste. Thanks to the brown sugar and corn syrup, there’s a caramel-like flavor to them, as well.
These are the ideal cookies for sitting down with a mug of hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.
These almost look like browner, crumblier Nilla Wafers, but the two cookies don’t taste anything alike at all.
The consistency is different, too. These are chewier than Nilla Wafers.
While Nilla Wafers have an understandably vanilla-like taste, these cookies’ flavor is much more complex.
With these, you’ll get notes of butter, spicy ginger and white pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and creamy sugar undertones underneath it all.
If you prefer your cookies to taste unique and have a lot of flavor, these are the way to go.
Also known as Jewish cookies, jødekager are thin, round cookies that smell incredible and taste even better.
They’re exceptionally simple cookies, and children usually make them in Denmark.
All you’ll need are standard ingredients – butter, flour, sugar, and eggs – for the cookie itself.
Then, you’ll add a topping that includes egg wash, almonds, sugar, and cinnamon.
As you can imagine, the cookies have a strong cinnamon and sugar flavor, and the chopped almonds add a bit of crunchiness that pairs well with the cookie’s chewiness.
Of all the options on this list, jødekager are probably the easiest to make.
5. Smør Bullar
These crunchy, buttery, dome-shaped cookies remind me of Italian wedding cookies.
Then again, any nutty cookie covered in powdered sugar reminds me of Italian wedding cookies.
Still, you’ll make them with six simple ingredients: butter, powdered sugar, cake flour, salt, vanilla, and chopped pecans.
And they have a very Italian wedding cookie-like taste!
They’re sugary with a light vanilla and pecan flavor, and they’re always a hit around the holiday season.
These little cookies look so strange because they’re all twisted up and funky. Even so, they’re a lot of fun to make and even more fun to eat!
They’re halfway between a cookie and a fried donut, and once you top each one with copious amounts of powdered sugar, they may even remind you of a less messy, less greasy funnel cake.
That’s pretty much what they taste like, as well, unless you add the optional cardamom, which gives them a slightly fresh, not-quite-minty flavor that helps offset the sugary sweetness.
You’ll love everything about these chocolate-dipped Danish butter cookies.
They have a lovely, almost rose-like appearance made even prettier once you dip them in chocolate and sprinkles.
They smell fantastic and have a spectacularly tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The flavor, of course, is just as perfect as everything else about the cookies.
They’re supremely buttery and have just a hint of vanilla in them. If you dip them in chocolate, you’ll get that decadent chocolate flavor, as well.
Don’t forget to add the red and green (and maybe even white) sprinkles to make them as holiday-themed as possible.
After my description of the smør bullar cookies above, I’ll bet you can guess what these Danish wedding cookies remind me of, right?
If you guessed Italian wedding cookies, you’re right on point.
There’s just something about the pecans in the batter and the powdered sugar topping that makes them exceptionally Italian wedding cookie-esque to me.
So what’s the difference between these and the smør bullar cookies? Cinnamon!
These have a slightly spiced flavor, thanks to the addition of cinnamon. Otherwise, the two are very similar.
These spiced, honeyed cookies are delicious, but they aren’t something that you can make the day before you want to eat them.
In fact, you need to make the dough at least 5 weeks ahead of time.
Yes, 5 weeks.
Luckily, the batter is super simple to make and requires nothing more than flour and honey.
Then, a few days before you’re ready to serve them, you’ll add the other ingredients.
It seems weird, but that’s how you do it. Plus, they’re beautiful, golden-brown hearts! What’s not to love?!
These are pretty much the same as the chocolate-dipped Danish butter cookies above, but you’ll add three teaspoons of instant coffee for a richer, more robust flavor.
It also gives them a lovely brown, almost chocolate-like color.
Once they’re ready, you can still dip them in chocolate. Then, add your favorite nuts for extra flavor and crunch.
Despite how awesome and complex they look, they’re relatively simple to make, and you can have four dozen of them ready in less than 90 minutes.
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