Vaniljekranse is a traditional Danish cookie made in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I have very fond memories of helping my Mom and Dad make vaniljekranse when I was a little girl. It’s a fun process of the dough coming out of the grinder into strips, cutting the strips into pieces and forming them into circles. The cookies have a sweet vanilla flavor and are slightly crunchy on the outside. Making Vaniljekranse makes for wonderful Danish family “hygge” (coziness).
Vaniljekranse are not difficult to make, however, it took some doing to actually make it happen. The reason being, that in Denmark there is an attachment to your meat grinder that has a star shape on it. So the dough is run through the meat grinder with the star attachment. I could probably just have used a pastry bag with a star tip, I tried it, but it takes a lot of muscle to get the dough out. The other option would be to use a cookie press and you can get some sort of circle pattern, but I really wanted to show the making of this cookie the authentic way.
So I described the attachment to my wonderful husband Joe, he looked at the thickness of the meat grinder discs, and him being a Blacksmith and all, he was able to fabricate the disc for me…Yeah! My wonderful husband is so brilliant, I think I’ll keep him 🙂 He helped me make this cookie the authentic way. Thanks Joe.
Update: I have since then been able to buy a star attachment in Bilka in Denmark while we were home for a visit, it fits my KitchenAid mixer perfectly.
375 grams flour (13 oz)
125 grams cornstarch (4.4 oz)
375 grams salted butter (13 oz)
100 grams slivered almonds (3.5 oz)
250 grams sugar (8.8 oz)
1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoon vanilla powder
Place slivered almonds in food processor and blend until a powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl add flour and cornstarch, blend together. Cut butter into small pieces, add butter to flour mixture and blend together on low-speed with a handheld mixer until it starts to become crumbly. Cut open vanilla bean and scrape out seeds. Add vanilla seeds, vanilla powder, almonds and sugar, blend to combine. Add egg and mix to combine. Using your hands, press mixture together until it forms a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using the star attachment for your meat grinder, pastry bag or cookie press to form your cookies. Traditionally, you will use a star attachment for your meat grinder. Cut dough into small segments and load into the meat grinder. Run the dough through the star attachment into long strips, place dough onto floured surface. Then cut dough into 4 inch long pieces and form into circle. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake in the middle of oven for 8 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool on baking sheets.
Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas♥
Source: adapted from my Mother’s recipe