Klassiske Vaniljekranse – Danish Butter Cookies
I’m sure a lot of folks are like me, who loves to eat Danish butter cookies by Kjeldsens. This was long before we have Famous Amos and Mrs Fields cookies in the malls, and even longer before Betty Crocker premixes made it to the shelves of supermarkets. I love Kjeldsens since I was a small boy, and became so addicted to them after sampling a few pieces in our very first tin given by a family friend. Precious they were, my sister and I were only allowed 2 pieces each day. And we often bickered on which to choose. The oblongish ones studded with granluated sugar was an obvious favorite. We would also be looking out for these round blue tins filled with crumbly morsels of buttery goodness whenever my mother brought us to departmental stores like Yaohan or Oriental Emporium, pestering her to buy them for us. But they were so expensive then, and personally I feel they still are! Those retail joints no longer exist, becoming ghosts of the yesteryears, but Kjeldsens is still going strong, becoming a household name and often benchmark to other Danish butter cookies that became available later.
Recently in my cyber circle of baking afficionadoes, there was a little hype over baking Danish butter cookies. That sparked a desire and brought me back to my childhood, to recreate these delicious cookies we used to enjoy so much. There were a few recipes floating around but I wasn’t exactly keen. I was more interested in Danish butter cookies made by the Danish themselves! Surely nothing can be more authentic than that? After some searching around, I found this really lovely video published on youtube, of whom I presume to be a local pastry chef demonstrating how Danish butter cookies, better known as “Vaniljekranse” in their native tongue are made. The recipe is incredibly simple, with everything being thrown into the mixer all at once. I love the French track “Le Festin” by Camille playing the background. It is from the soundtrack of one of my favorite Disney productions “Ratatouille” by the way! I love her gigantic mixer, and I love the whole “mood” of the video to show how leisurely and relaxed it can be done. Most of all, I love love love her swift and sharply executed piping skills, which I tried to replicate with my own batch of cookies 🙂
Klassiske Vaniljekranse (Danish Butter Cookies)
adapted from here (IMPORTANT UPDATE – Do remember to click on the link under “related posts” for a more updated discussion on this cookie)
Place everything in a mixing bowl and mix evenly using a paddle attachment on the lowest speed possible.
Pipe wreaths onto greased cookie sheet or baking tray using an open star tip. I used Wilton 1M but I think the lady in the video used a smaller one
Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 7-8 min
Leave to cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.
Transfer cookies into airtight container after cookies are at room temperature.
It is very important to ensure all ingredients at room temperature. Using softend butter helps the ingredients to amalgamate very quickly. Do not be tempted to heat the butter over the stove to melt it. That would create a messy cookie dough that oozes butter all the time.
Using the lowest speed possible helps one to monitor the progress of the cookie dough formation so as not to overwork it. Having said that the recipe is very forgiving, with little fear of the starch glutening. If one doesn’t have a stand mixer, mix the ingredients by hand with the aid of a hard spatula. Avoid using a hand blender.
The video, vanilla/vanilin powder was used. I used vanilla paste from Nielsen Massey vanilla paste which is far more fluid. Thus, I’d increased the flour and icing sugar amount slightly to compensate. If scraped seeds from vanilla beans are used, I think it is ok to stick to the original recipe. I’d also noticed that the baked cookies could hold their shape better with the slightly increased ratio of dry to wet ingredients. But be assured that they are no less crumbly and buttery.
Having said that using good butter is very important of course. I’d used Elle et Vire Gastronomique Doux, which is essentially unsalted butter used specifically for culinary purposes and not as as a spread. It is good enough for me. One could of course go that extra mile to use Lurpark butter for a truly authentic Danish experience, but I felt that French butters do the job really well, if not better 🙂
No creaming of butter, no chilling of dough, no waiting time at all, this must surely be the easiest cookie recipe I’d attempted to date! And I must say that its one of the most delicious one too!
Have a lovely weekend ahead and if you have the time, do give this recipe a try! 🙂
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This entry was posted on December 8, 2012 by Alan (travellingfoodies). It was filed under Food, Simple Eats and was tagged with butter, cookie dough, Danish Vanilla Butter Cookies, denmark, flour, icing sugar, Klassiske Vaniljekranse, vanilla.