I don’t remember the first time I ate Danish Butter Cookies. I do vaguely recollect that it was probably when someone visiting from abroad brought us a tin of them. Or it might have been a tin that came home with us from the supermarket as a special treat. What I do remember is a lovely blue tin with pretty, crisp, and not-too-sweet buttery cookies in them.
Before I go on to more about Danish Butter Cookies, I must share that this blog has completed 10 years! The exact day was about a month back but it’s never too late to celebrate a milestone. I had a habit, at one time, for never completing projects I started (not professional ones). I still have remnants of a crocheting project and some flower making thingummies sitting in a box somewhere.
So to think I have been writing a blog for ten years is quite an achievement for me. Especially considering that I have been chugging along on my own steam. It’s always easier to meet deadlines when someone else imposes them on you. I have slowed down too many times to count but haven’t stopped yet. I shall share my thoughts on the topic of a decade of food blogging in another post later.
In the meanwhile, anniversaries must be celebrated even if belatedly. Cake or chocolate would be the way to go but I thought of doing something different for a change. Festive cookie baking season is here and I haven’t baked cookies in a while. I have something to celebrate, so let’s do it with some melt-in-the-mouth Danish Butter Cookies!
The Danes call their Butter Cookies Vaniljekranse or Vanilla Wreaths. They’re unleavened (no baking powder or baking soda) and shortbread-like. Apparently, they’re adapted from a traditional Danish wedding cake called Kransekage. Though popular throughout the year, Danish Butter Cookies are traditionally Christmas fare.
The second best part of Danish Butter Cookies (the first is the Cookies themselves) is how easy they’re to make. The butter and sugar don’t have to be creamed, just mixed. The other ingredients are stirred in. Fill the cookie dough into a piping bag with a star shaped pastry tip and pipe into circles. Bake. Eat. Enjoy!
If you want to try something not so traditional with these cookies, you can substitute some of the flour with cocoa powder for chocolate cookies. You could substitute a 1/4 cup of the flour with ground almonds or desiccated coconut. I personally like the addition of almonds to these cookies.
Some of these are sprinkled with granulated sugar before baking so that’s another option. Sprinkle them with dragees or coloured sprinkles for a more festive look. If you have a cookie press, then you can press them out in different shapes. Dip one half of each cookie in melted dark chocolate for another variation.
Danish Butter Cookies are also made in the shape of logs. So if you don’t have a large star piping nozzle, you could shape the dough into long 3/4″ thick logs. Then cut into smaller pieces about the length of your little finger and bake.
Unlike most other baking recipes, these cookies call for salted butter. You can always use unsalted butter and add a little salt to the flour. These cookies have a lot of butter so they tend to spread a bit in the oven. The spread only means you have slightly thinner cookies. I’ve found chilling the piped cookies for about half an hour before baking keeps the spreading to a minimum. Chilling the dough makes the cookies difficult to pipe.
This recipe makes about 24 cookies that are 2.5” in diameter. You can double the recipe for a larger batch of Danish Butter Cookies.
Danish Butter Cookies & Turning Ten
- 120 gm salted butter soft at room temperature
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup ground almonds optional
- Put the soft butter and icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Mix in the other ingredients to a smooth thick batter.
- Scrape the batter into a piping bag with open star piping tip (I used Ateco 824). Pipe into small circles about 2” in diameter onto a parchment lined or ungreased baking sheet. Refrigerate the baking sheets for about half an hour.
- Bake the cookies at 190C (375F) for about 10 to 15 minutes or till the cookies start turning a golden brown along the edges. Take them out of the oven and let them sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight