“Brunkager” is a very thin small Danish Christmas cookie made with sirup and medieval spices. With any old recipe there are a number of different variations, but this is the one we use in my family.
The history of the cookies
“Brunkager” is a old danish type of cookies from the wood stove era, like most of the other Danish cookies. They are one of my favourite cookies for two reasons, they are extremely crisp and they are fast to bake. I always make the dough in advance, freeze it and bake it when I want to have something on hand for guests and want the house to smell of Christmas. It doesn’t hurt that they are really tasty. I think this year’s recipe is the most tasty I have had yet. The early recipes for “brunkager” show up in danish recipe books around 1835 and they are related to gingerbread cookies.
Read more about the history of “brunkager” at Madam Sif who has an excellent blogpost on the subject.
If you can’t get potash, you can use baking soda instead. But they will not be as crisp. Baking soda does not need to be dissolved in water. If you can get it, ammonium bicarbonate will give you the same crisp result as potash. Please look up how much to use – I have not tried to make them without potash as it is easy to get in danish supermarkeds.
In Denmark you can buy the spices in a spice mix, which is normally what we do as weighting spices in small amounts is really annoying.