I grew up in the 1980’s and you could always tell when Christmas was coming by the appearance of a blue tin of Danish Butter Cookies on top of the fridge. They were simple but incredibly moreish and they were to us at least, an exotic festive treat.
A few years ago, I started making my own Danish Butter Cookies with my son. They are incredibly easy to make and they are a nice predictable bake, meaning that they never fail. I’m pretty good at cake baking, but for some reason my kitchen confidence always leaves me when it comes to biscuits and cookies. Perhaps the dependability of the recipe is why I make them so often.
Because to me, and other children of the 80’s, Danish Butter Cookies are forever linked to Christmas, it’s at this time of year I tend to make them the most. A batch of cookies neatly wrapped in brown paper, or in a decorative bag or box make a lovely little edible gift for someone.
Danish Butter cookies
375g butter, room temperature
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
500g plain flour
Milk (entirely optional)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix in thoroughly.
Beat in the plain flour, I tend to do this in batches so the kitchen doesn’t get covered in a flour cloud. Once it’s all mixed in, you need to decide if your mixture is loose enough to pipe, or if it needs letting down a bit. If it’s a bit stiff, add a couple of tablespoons of milk and beat the mixture again.
Heat the oven to 180° and line some large baking sheets with parchment paper. If you’re choosing to pipe your cookies, select a wide piping nozzle and put in your piping bag. I prefer to use disposable piping bags and a Wilton 1M nozzle, but you use whatever you’re comfortable with.
Carefully pipe circles of the biscuit dough onto your parchment paper. I used a knife to help poke them into shape as my piping was a bit rusty. Once you’ve piped a tray (leaving room for them to spread a little), put them in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. You don’t really want them to get brown, because like shortbread, these Danish Butter Cookies are supposed to be pale and interesting.
Once you’ve removed them from the oven, leave on a cooling rack until they are properly cool. Resist the urge to eat them all, especially if you’ve baked them as gifts for Christmas.
These Danish butter cookies should keep in an airtight tin for a week or so, should you be able to resist them for that long!