jewish christmas cookies - jødekager

Traditional danish Christmas cookies


It is that time a year again where it is time to bake Christmas cookies. I have quite a few recipes for traditional danish Christmas cookies, so I deiced to make a master list for you.

The day of baking Christmas cookies

Making the dough for Brown Christmas cookies
Making the dough for Brown Christmas cookies

Since 2004 my girlfriends have gathered to bake the yearly haul of Christmas cookies. None of us used to make for Christmas our self, but we had all moved out within a few years and we decided to to meet up to bake some cookies. By baking together we get to make more kinds of cookies and it is such a nice day together. Baking together really takes the stress out of the baking. Back when were students it was also a huge plus that it reduced the cost. Since it has become a yearly tradition and we have all completely taken over the Christmas baking from our mothers for the whole family. We bake in huge batches – this year we used almost 10 kg of flour and so much butter it is embarrassing. We are baking for five families, so I hope that helps a little.

Traditional danish Christmas cookies – the master list

Well more or less traditional

Pictures from the baking days

Coconut shortbread

Coconut shortbread with a frosting made with rum essence. They are crispy and crunchy and delicious. Large portion
Course Baked Goods, Cookies
Cuisine Christmas, Holiday Food
Baking time pr sheet of cookies 10 minutes


  • 750 gram plain flour
  • 1,5 teaspoon ammonium bicarbonate
  • 750 gram soft butter
  • 390 gram desiccated coconut
  • 390 gram sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water or so - enough to bind everything together if needed


  • 600 gram icing sugar Yes that is a lot, it takes a LOT of frosting to finish off all the cookies.
  • 8-12 tablespoon water
  • 6 teaspoon rum essence
  • 6 teaspoon romessen


  1. Mix everything together. It takes some kneading for everything to come together
  2. Roll out the dough and cut it into 3-4 cm wide sticks. They need to be about 4 mm thick
    Coconut short bread in the making - fedtebrød
  3. Make sure to space out the sticks while baking them.
  4. Bake them for 10 minutes at 200 C with the fan on. They need to be golden before they are don.
  5. Frost them while they are still hot. Use a pipping bag and a butter knife.
  6. Cut them into the finished cookies while they are hot. You need to work kind of fast.
  7. Leave them out on the table (on the baking paper) to cool - they will crisp up once they are cool.
    Finished coconut short bread - fedtebrød

Pebernødder (peppernuts)

A traditional Danish (and German) Christmas cookie that dates back at least to the renaissance. This is not the old recipe though but the modern one we tend to bake for Christmas in my family. This is a large portion, but you can make a smaller portion if you really want to.
Course Cookies, Desert
Cuisine Christmas, Danish, Historical cooking, Holiday Food, Renaissance
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Servings 1 kilo cookies


  • 375 grams butter
  • 375 grams sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 850 grams plain wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1,5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda bicarbonate
  • 3 pinches of white pepper


  1. Knead sugar and butter together.
  2. Add the eggs.
  3. Mix the flour with the spices and baking soda. Add in the flour little by little till the dough combines into a thick slightly sticky dough. Normally uses all of the flour.
  4. Set the dough aside in the fridge until it is cold and firm – that should take at least an hour.
  5. Once the dough is firm and cold take it out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 200 C.
  6. Then you divide it into smaller pieces and roll the dough into a sausage that is about 1 cm in diameter and cut 1 cm pieces of dough.
  7. Roll each piece into a small ball and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper. This is quite a large portion so you will fill quite a few trays with peppernuts.
  8. Bake each tray at 200 degrees Celsius for 6 to 8 minutes - or until they are golden around the edges.


Jewish Christmas Cookies

Traditional Christmas cookies topped with cinnamon sugar and almonds. My family recipe
Course Cookies, Desert
Cuisine Christmas, Holiday Food
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 38 minutes


  • 250 grams flour and some more
  • 175 grams butter cold
  • 125 grams brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ammonium bicarbonate or baking soda
  • 1 egg


  • 1 egg to brush the cookies with
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 50 grams almonds blanched & chopped


  1. Mix flour and ammonium bicarbonate
  2. Chop the flour and butter together - like you do for a pie crust.
  3. Add the rest of the ingrediens and knead it together. You will probably need to add more flour. The dough shouldn't be very sticky.
  4. The dough will need more flour than the recipe says. It should not be sticky or it will be very hard to work with.
  5. Put it somewhere cold until the dough is completely cool. This will take a few hours
  6. Roll it thinly (3 mm) and use the cookie cutters to cut thin cookies - like with gingerbread cookies.
  7. Brush them with egg and add a topping of chopped almonds, sugar and cinnamon
  8. Bake for about 8 minutes at 200 C in convection oven or 225 C in a regular oven. Or until the edges turn golden.


Brown Christmas Cookies

Course Cookies, Desert
Cuisine 19th century, Christmas, Historical cooking, Holiday Food, Wood stove era
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 200 cookies


  • 500 grams butter
  • 1 kilogram wheat flour
  • 125 grams almonds blanched and roughly chopped
  • 250 grams golden syrup
  • 500 grams sugar
  • 15 grams potash mixed with 2 table spoons of water
  • 5 grams ground ginger
  • 7 grams ground cloves
  • 25 grams ground cinnamon
  • 100 grams grated bitter orange Normal orange peel from one orange, can be used as well, optional


  1. Melt butter, sugar and syrup slowly in a pot
  2. Take it off the heat and add the spices to the mix. Leave it to cook until it is lunk warm (hand temperatur)
  3. Mix the potash with a bit of water. It is important that they potash does not get into the mixture until it is lunk warm - or the reaction can be pretty wild (as in caramel all over the table wild).
  4. Add the almonds and the flour to the mix
  5. Knead it together and roll the mixture into sausages. The sausages should be about the thickness of a broom handle. Wrap them in clingfilm.
  6. Put them into the freezer until they are hard. This takes a few hours. They keep for at least a year in the freezer.
  7. Cut the cold sausages with a sharp knife into thin slices.
  8. Place the slices on a baking tray (with baking paper) and bake them for 5-8 minutes at 200 C. Until they are darker, but not burned. They burn quickly so keep an eye on them.

Recipe Notes

Source: Madam Sif. Originally: Kogebog for smaa Huusholdninger, 1837, Lise Nørgaard


Vanilla Wreaths

The traditional danish Christmas cookies vanilla wrearths
Course Cookies, Desert
Cuisine Christmas, Danish, Holiday Food
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 40 minutes


  • 100 grams almonds blanched
  • 330 grams butter cold
  • 500 grams flour 800 ml
  • 220 grams sugar 250 ml
  • 1 egg
  • 1 vanilla pod


  1. Chop the almonds finely - without them turning into paste. That makes the dough much easier to work with.
  2. Combine the flour and butter.
  3. Add the sugar, egg, vanilla and almonds.
  4. Put the dough in the fridge until it is cold. Do not freze it. Take it out about half an hour before you want to make them.
  5. Put the dough though the meat grinder, cut it into chunks before hands - it makes it easy to work with.
  6. Form the sauceges into wreaths and set them down on a baking tray with paper on it.
    Turn the sausages into little wreaths - vanilla wreaths - vaniljekranse
  7. Bake them for 7-10 min or 200 C - convention oven (or 225 C in a regular oven). You can bake two plates at once.

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