Friday, December 27, 2013


Right before Christmas I made some Danish Christmas cookies including these vanilla wreaths, or vaniljekranse in Danish, because the fiance and I were given the responsibility of making some cookies for one of the family Christmas lunches that we went to this week. I haven't eaten too many of these vanilla cookies before this so I had no idea how they should taste or what their texture should be like. Thankfully, the fiance's relatives seemed to really like them! Phew! 

Making these vaniljekranse took quite a bit of arm power. Normally Danes make the cookie dough, refrigerate it, and then force the dough through a kødhakker or meat mincer with a star shaped piece. It sounds weird when I write it out like that, but that's what they do! Because we don't have a meat mincer, I had to pipe out the cookie dough with a star shaped piping tip. I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy. The dough is pretty firm so it took a bit of power (and a few split piping bags!) to pipe out all of the dough. The cookies were buttery and full of vanilla flavor and a great treat during the holidays! Christmas is coming to an end but keep these in mind for next year! 

Vaniljekranse (adapted from Copenhagen Cakes)
Makes about 80 cookies

500g all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
375g butter softened (I used 250g unsalted butter and 125g salted butter)
1 large egg
250g sugar (I used 125g homemade vanilla scented sugar and 125g regular white sugar)
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
1 tbsp vanilla extract
125g almond flour 

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Slowly combine the softened butter into the flour with the help of a mixer. 

In another bowl and with a mixer, beat the egg, sugar, vanilla bean and vanilla extract until it is light and fluffy. 

Slowly add the dough into the wet egg mixture and mix until everything is combined. I found it easiest to start this process by working the dough with my hands first before switching to my mixer. Finally, fold in the almond flour.

Cover the cookie dough with some cling film and let it sit on the kitchen counter for at least 1 hour so that the vanilla flavor can really work its way into the dough and so that the dough will be easier to work with later.

Preheat oven to 175C or 350F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. 

Prepare your piping bag and piping tip and fill the bag 1/3 to 1/2 way with cookie dough. It is easier to work with small amounts here. Slowly and carefully pipe out long lines of dough on your baking sheet. Cut piped dough to desired length (mine were about 8 to 10 cm long) and form it into a circle or wreath shape. 

Bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes. They are ready when their bottoms are a light golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet and let them cool on a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container and nibble away!

PS. This will be my last "gluten" recipe for awhile. My plan for the new year (well actually starting now) is to go gluten free! (Sort of impossible to go gluten free during a Danish Christmas...) I'll still be sharing treats on here, but the ingredients might be a little different. More on that in a day or two!

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