recipes, Winter

Danish Christmas Cookies {Peppernuts & Checkered Cookies}

If you ask me, one of the things that really brings in Christmas traditions are the sweet treats that we make every year. Am I right? Some of the cookies that are tradition in my home during the holidays are of course homemade Danish Butter cookies of various types. Today I am sharing with you two recipes.

Danish Peppernut Cookies

Or as we call these in Denmark “Pebbernødder”. These sweet little morsels are made with flour and brown sugar. The main ingredient that really shines through is the Cadamom, which gives these tiny cookies a minty kind of floral flavor. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who didn’t like these. They are shortbread like in texture but have a nice spice “punch” to them, reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie. Oh and don’t let the black pepper ingredient fool you…these are NOT “hot” spicy at all! Don’t skimp on this addition…it makes the cookies delicious! Just think ginger.

We make these in large batches because we eat them so fast! Once you start… you really can’t stop…lol.

Peppernut Cookies

Makes 110-120

very small cookies


2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 cup butter (2 sticks) chopped and softened

1 egg

  1. Mix flour, brown sugar, nutMeg Cardamom, cloves and pepper with a spoon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and egg and mix well with an electric mixer. (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle attachment for this, and I let it mix for 3-5 min until I see it form into a dough). Or you can use your hands to shape into a smooth dough.
  2. Shape the dough into long rolls 1/2inch in diameter. Cut the rolls into 1/4-inch slices and shaped each slice into a small ball about the size of hazelnut. (If I’m in a hurry I skip the shaping into a ball part. ) place on 12 x 17“ cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place on the center oven rack and bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until light brown. I allow mine to brown a little bit because they’re really yummy when crunchy. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for several weeks.

*recipe adapted from Stig Hansen’s Cooking Danish

Danish Butter Checkered cookies {a version of Spiralsmåkager}

The next type of cookies are some that my Danish Grandmother always used to make for Christmas when I was a little girl… they were some of my favorites….they are so good! They taste like a yummy vanilla butter cookie with a hint of cocoa. I’m sure you can up the cocoa in this one if you want a stronger chocolate flavor.

Danish Checkered Butter Cookies

Makes ab. 40 cookies


1 1/4 cups softened butter

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 TBS cocoa powder

1. With paddle attachment using a stand mixer, mix flour and butter on medium speed until it becomes likes crumbs…(alternately cut butter into flour in a mixing bowl using a fork or a pastry cutter).

2.To the flour mixture add vanilla extract, sugar and egg, until it becomes a shortbread type dough.

3. Remove dough from mixer and divide it in half.

4. Add one half of your dough into the mixer again with the Cocoa powder. Mix on medium speed until the cocoa evenly distributed and becomes a nice chocolate color.

5. Divide each type dough into two and roll into long rolls, four in total (about 3/4-inch round.) Assemble your cookie dough by first placing a light colored roll, next to a chocolate roll, then layer on top the last two rolls, but in reverse pattern. (This will create the checkered look)

6. Place parchment paper Over your combined dough rolls, and use to form all four into a large roll of cookie dough… basically you are using the paper to help attach your four different types of dough together …so they don’t fall apart. Use a small squeeze type motion over the entire roll with your hands. Make sure to not squeeze too hard or the checkered pattern will loose it’s shape.

Let it rest in the fridge until the dough is completely cold.

7. Remove from fridge and slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices.

8. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake at 400F for 10 min or until light golden brown.

Cool baked cookies on wire rack. Store in airtight container.

These two type of cookies are easy to make and fun too. My kids love to help bake these especially, the pepper nut cookies. They get a kick out of sharing them with their friends and scaring them with the “there’s pepper in these”…lol. They have surprised many a kid with how yummy they taste.

I hope you try these out…they will make your kitchen smell like Scandinavia…

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!



1 thought on “Danish Christmas Cookies {Peppernuts & Checkered Cookies}”

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