Christmas Cookies, Danish Style

You know those Danish cookies you get around Christmas time? In the blue cookie tin? Yes, those. Never buy them again because these are the REAL deal.

My grandmother, or Mormor (meaning mom’s mom in Danish) as my cousins and I call her, emigrated from Aalborg, Denmark to Philadelphia in the 1950s. While she adopted a few American-isms, she never strayed too far from her Danish roots. This is most evident around Christmas time when my Mormor does most of her cooking. Instead of the traditional Christmas dinner, we always sit down to a traditional (and might I add, four hour long) smorgasbord. First the fish dishes, then the hot dishes, then the cold dishes, ending with coffee, cheese, and, of course, cookies.

But, let’s be honest, you’re not here to learn about a Danish Christmas – you’re here to learn about Danish Christmas cookies, and rightfully so! I promise these two recipes will put those cookies in the blue tin to utter shame. Bonus – both recipes are super easy and kid friendly. But first, two tips from Mormor:

1. Never bake in a dirty oven

2. Eggs should always be room temperature when baking

And now, the cookies…

Aristocrat Cookie (buttery almond cookie)


4.5 – 5 cups flour

1½ cups sugar

375 grams butter, about 3.5 sticks (softened)

1 egg

½ tsp. lemon zest

½ cups almonds finely chopped

Mix sugar and softened butter with a mixer on low until combined. Add egg, lemon zest, and almonds until thoroughly combined. Take butter-sugar dough slowly (very slowly) mix in the flour with hands. This may take a bit, but patience is a virtue, right? 4.5 cups may be sufficient but if dough is still to soft, add the last 1/2 cup. When dough is formed, split into two separate, equal portions. With hands, roll dough into a 12 inch x 2 – 2½ inch log. Wrap in wax paper and set in fridge over night, or until firm. Slice cookies about ¼ – ½ inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for approximately 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Brune Cookie aka The Best Cookie In The World (crispy spiced cookie)


1 cup butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 tsp cardamom

1 tbsp grated orange rind

1 tsp cloves

½ tsp salt

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ cup finely chopped almonds (optional, but recommended)

4-5 cups flour

In a heavy bottom sauce pot, melt butter, sugar, and syrup to a smooth consistency. Stir in cardamom through almonds. Remove from heat. Add flour little by little until dough is formed. Dough may need to be cooled in the fridge for a few hours. When dough is cool, split into two separate, equal portions and form each into a square log (approximately 3 inches wide and 2 inches tall and 12 inches long). These cookies should sit in the fridge for about 2 or 3 weeks in order for the spices to fully embody the dough, however, if you’re in a time crunch, you can bake them after the dough chills overnight. When dough is ready, slice about ¼ inch thick, or even smaller, these cookies are meant to be thin andcrispy. Bake at 375 degree Fahrenheit

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  1. Peter Bailey

    I’m very disappointed. I faithfully did all the steps for the “aristocrat” cookies above. The next day, after refrigeration, I’m left with two large, crumbly logs. There’s no way they can be rolled out for cookies.

    • Swarthmore Co-op

      I am very sorry your cookies didn’t turn out well! I would encourage you to try again and use less flour – too much flour tends to dry out the dough. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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