Recipes for Scandinavian Christmas Cookies

Recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies are usually light and delicate. Most recipes are not extra sweet but buttery and delicious. Considering the cold climate of this area, especially at Christmas time, one might expect heavier and richer cookies. Let us take a look at the Scandinavian countries to understand better their cookie baking. The Scandinavian Peninsula includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. This covers the area from the Arctic Circle to the Baltic Sea which is about 289, 500 square miles. As you can see the weather is very cold and damp varying a little from one of the countries to another.

Recipes for Scandinavian Christmas CookiesRecipes for Scandinavian Christmas Cookies

A friend I had many, many years ago was from Denmark. We talked a lot about Christmas cookie baking in her former country of Denmark and the surrounding countries. She was the first to introduce me to the Spritz cookie recipes. Although Spritz cookies credit Germany as the origination, this was my friend’s traditional Christmas cookie. It was the only cookie she made for Christmas but she baked “lots”. They were so beautifully decorated and really good leaving a lasting impression on my cookie baking. She convinced me to make them also. Still today I make some spritz every year.

My old friend talked a lot about their family traditions at Christmas time, especially common recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies.  Like our family many years ago when I was a little girl, they had a coffee table in their gathering room. It was not the typical coffee table like today. It was taller and the top was not quite as large as the normal kitchen table. When family and friends stopped by, the table top was filled with five or six different plates of cookies. Like our family also, a large pot of hot strong coffee with mugs was also nearby for everyone.

When I think of recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies, my old friend’s are the delicate little ones that first come to my mind. As years passed on, I have collected many recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies. They vary in flavor and texture; some even being deep fried. Spices like cinnamon, ginger and cardamom are common spices in many recipes. So many recipes include a lot of almond extract and almonds.  I have found that recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies make a very nice Christmas collection without adding any of my traditional Christmas cookie recipes.

Recipes for Scandinavian Christmas Cookies

FINNISH LOGS

Finnish LogsFinnish Logs

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies beginning with these Finnish logs.

  • ¾ Cup softened butter
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Cups sifted flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Beaten egg

Topping

  • 1 Beaten egg
  • ¼ Cup finely chopped almonds (Not blanched)
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; lightly grease cookie sheets.
In large mixing bowl beat butter, 1/3 cup sugar, egg and extract until light and fluffy.
Add flour and salt; with hands mix well.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; shape into a roll 6 inches long.
Cut roll crosswise with a sharp knife into 6 parts.
Shape each part into a roll 12 inches long and ¾ inch in diameter.
Cut each roll into 6 pieces (2 Inch pieces); place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.
For topping brush tops lightly with egg; sprinkle with almonds mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until delicately browned; remove to cool on wire rack.


DANISH ALMOND COOKIES

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies from Denmark.

  • 1  2/3 Cups flour
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup chopped toasted almonds
  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup solid shortening
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 Beaten egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Blanched almond halves

Combine in a large mixing bowl the flour and next 8 ingredients.
With mixer on medium speed beat until well blended.
Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F degrees; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Flatten balls slightly with bottom of glass dipped lightly in flour each time.
Blend egg yolk with water; brush tops of each cookie with yolk mixture.
Top each with almond half; bake 10 minutes or until golden.
Place immediately on wire rack to cool completely; store in air tight container.


PINEAPPLE RIBBONS

Pineapple RibbonsPineapple Ribbons

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies with pineapple.

  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Package (3 Ounces) softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup pineapple preserves
  • 3 ½ Cups flour

Icing

  • 2 Cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Nonpareils

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
FOR COOKIES beat butter and cream cheese until creamy.
Add the sugar and baking powder beating until well combined.
Beat in the egg and preserves until well blended.
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer.
Mix in the remaining flour with spoon or hands; divide dough in half.
Roll each half of dough into a rectangle 16X10 inches.
Cut into 1 ¼ inch wide strips lengthwise with fluted pastry cutter.
Cut each strip into 4 strips each 4 inches long.
Place strips on UNgreased baking sheets 1 inch apart.
NOTE: If desired curve the strips slightly to resemble ribbons.
Bake for 7 to 8 minutes until slightly brown.
Cool 1 minute on sheets; transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
FOR ICING place powdered sugar in small bowl.
Stir in enough milk 1 teaspoon at a time to make drizzling consistency.
Drizzle cold cookies with icing and sprinkle with nonpareils.


RASPBERRY ALMOND RIBBONS

Raspberry Almond RibbonsRaspberry Almond Ribbons
Raspberry Almond RibbonsRaspberry Almond Ribbons

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies like these pretty raspberry ribbons.

  • 1 ¾ Cups flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ Cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Beaten egg white
  • ½ Cup seedless raspberry jam

Icing

  • 1 Cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat butter until creamy; add sugar beating until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and almond extract; stir in the flour mixture until dough sticks together.
Divide the dough into 4 parts; shape each part into a rectangle on UNgreased baking sheets
NOTE: Make each of the rectangles 2 inches wide and 13 inches long spacing 4 to 5 inches apart.

Brush dough with egg white; sprinkle with almonds.
Bake rectangles about 12 minutes until edges are firm.
Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk to make a drizzling consistency; set aside.
Remove trays from oven and cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; carefully transfer to wire racks.
Spread 2 tablespoons of jam down the center of each.
Drizzle icing mixture over of the rectangles; cut crosswise into 1 inch strips.

Makes about 48 cookies.


NORWEGIAN FATTIGMANDS

Norwegian FattigmandsNorwegian Fattigmands

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies; a specialty of Norway.

  • 10 Egg yolks
  • 1/3 Cup powdered sugar
  • ½ Cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon brandy
  • 1 Teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/3 Teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 to 2 ½ Cups flour
  • Powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl combine egg yolks and 1/3 cup powdered sugar; beat until very thick about 10 minutes.
Stir in the cream, brandy, cardamom and lemon peel; mix in enough flour to make a stiff dough.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill several hours.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in deep fryer or large heavy Dutch oven to 375F degrees.
Divide dough in half; roll each half to 1/8 inch thickness on a well floured surface.
Cut pastry into diamond shapes with knife or pastry cutter measuring 3 1/2  inches by 2 1/2 inches wide. 

Make 1 inch slit in each diamond in center.
Draw a long point of diamond through the slit and curl back in opposite direction.
Fry in hot oil about 15 seconds on each side or until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving; makes about 48.


BERLINER KRANSE COOKIES

Berliner Kranse CookiesBerliner Kranse Cookies

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies from Norway.

  • 1 Cups softened butter
  • ¼ Cup butter flavored solid shortening
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 2 Teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 Egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Red candied cherries (Cut in small pieces)
  • Green candied cherries (Cut in small pieces)

In large mixing bowl beat on medium speed the butter and shortening until creamy.
Gradually beat in 1 cup of sugar until well mixed; add eggs beating well after each addition.
On low speed gradually beat in the flour and orange peel; divide dough into 4 parts.
Shape each part into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees.
Working with 1 ball at a time divide each ball into 18 parts; roll each into a 6 inch rope.
Loop each rope into a circle crossing the ends to resemble an “X”; place on UNgreased baking sheets.
Beat egg whites until foamy on high speed; gradually beat in 2 tablespoons sugar.
Continue beating whites until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves.
Brush beaten whites over tops of cookies; arrange cherries and citron on “X” to resemble holly.
NOTE: Gently press cherries into dough.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden; cool on tray 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
Makes about 6 dozen.


SWEDISH PEPPARKAKOR COOKIES (Or pepper cookies)

Swedish Pepparkakor CookiesSwedish Pepparkakor Cookies
Swedish Pepparkakor CookiesSwedish Pepparkakor Cookies

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies like these spicy Swedish ginger snaps.

  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup light molasses
  • ¼ Cup solid shortening
  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon grated orange peel
  • ½ Teaspoon allspice
  • ½ Teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ Teaspoon cloves
  • 2 ½ Cups flour
  • Slivered almonds OPTIONAL
  • Candied cherries quartered OPTIONAL

Combine in saucepan the sugar, molasses, shortening and butter.
Bring to a boil and then REDUCE HEAT; cook and stir over low 2 minutes longer.
Remove from heat and cool for 45 minutes.
Add the egg, and next 8 ingredients to the saucepan stirring to mix well.
Stir in a THIRD of the flour at a time until each is well blended.
Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.

Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
Bake about 5 minutes until cookies are set; cool on racks.

Serve plain or decorate.


SCANDINAVIA CREAM WAFERS

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies like sandwich cookies.

  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 1/3 Cup heavy cream
  • 2 Cups flour
  • Granulated sugar

Cream Filling

  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • ¾ Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • Food coloring

FOR COOKIES cream together the butter, cream and flour; cover and chill.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.
NOTE: Work with a THIRD of the dough at a time keeping the rest refrigerated.
Roll to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured surface; cut into 1 ½ inch rounds.
Transfer rounds to piece of wax paper heavily covered with granulated sugar.
Turn each round so the both sides are coated with sugar; place on UNgreased baking sheets.
Prick rounds with fork about 4 times; bake 7 to 9 minutes until set (Not brown).
Cool cookies completely; mix filling.
FOR FILLING beat together butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
Add a few drops of food coloring to tint filling.
NOTE: Add a few drops of water if needed for proper consistency.
Put 2 cookies together with the cream filling; make about 60 cookies.


SWEDISH FRUIT BARS

Swedish Fruit BarSwedish Fruit Bar

Recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies also include bar cookies
Filling

  • 1 Cup raisins
  • 1 Cup chopped dates
  • 1 Cup chopped pitted prunes
  • ¾ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Bars

  • 1 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 ¼ Cups flour (Divided)
  • 1 Cup sugar (Divided)
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • ¾ Cup softened butter
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Egg
  • Powdered sugar

FOR FILLING combine in medium saucepan the raisins and next 4 ingredients.
Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until thickened.(About 15 minutes)
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice; cool slightly.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees
Sprinkle walnuts over bottom of greased 9X13 inch pan.
FOR BARS combine 2 CUPS of the flour and ½ CUP of the sugar in mixing bowl.
Add the brown sugar and butter; beat on low speed until crumbly.
Sprinkle 2 cups of the crumbly mixture in the prepared pan; press firmly.
Carefully spread the cooled filling evenly over the crumb base.
Add to the remaining crumb mixture the remaining ¼ CUP of flour.
Add the remaining ½ CUP sugar, salt and next 5 ingredients.
Beat the mixture well until blended; carefully pour batter over the filling.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top springs back when touched in center.
Cool completely; dust with powdered sugar and cut into bars.
Makes 36 bars.


SWEDISH OATMEAL COOKIES

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies with rolled oats.
Cookies

  • ¾ Cup flour
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Cup solid shortening
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ½ Cups rolled oats

Topping

  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/3 Cup chopped almonds
  • 1/8 Teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
FOR COOKIES combine all cookie ingredients EXCEPT rolled oats.
Beat 1 minute on medium speed of mixer; stir in the rolled oats.
FOR TOPPING combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup in small saucepan.
Bring mixture to a boil; remove from heat and stir in almonds and extract.
Set filling aside to cool.
TO BAKE drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto UNgreased baking sheets.
NOTE: Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
Bake cookies for 8 minutes; spoon ½ teaspoon filling in center of each cookie.
Return to the oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool cookie slightly before removing from baking sheets; makes 34.


SWEDISH DROMMAR COOKIES

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies from Sweden.

  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 2 Cups flour
  • ½ Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Beat the butter until cream; add sugar and beat until fluffy.
Combine in small bowl the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda.
Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture beating until well combined.
Shape dough into ¾ inch balls; place on UNgreased cookie sheets.
Press lightly in center of each ball with your finger; bake 7 to 9 minutes.
Makes 80 to 90.


FINNISH CHESTNUT CRESCENTS

Learn how to make recipes for Scandinavian Christmas cookies with chestnuts.

  • 1 Cup flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons softened butter
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • ½ Cup chestnut puree
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla
  • Sugar
  • 3 Ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 Teaspoon solid shortening

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Sift together flour, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
Beat butter in mixing bowl until creamy; add sugar beating until fluffy.
Beat in egg yolk; beat in chestnut puree and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture beating until well mixed.
Using a TABLESPOON of dough for each cookie; roll into a 4 ½ inch log.
Shape each log into a crescent tapering the ends.
Place on greased baking sheets; sprinkle with additional sugar.
Bake about 15 minutes until done; cool on wire rack.
COMBINE CHOCOLATE and solid shortening in heavy saucepan.
Cook and stir over low heat until melted; drizzle over cooled cookies.
Cool until chocolate is set; makes 30.

› Scandinavian Christmas Cookies

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