Last year I was all ready to make my favorite round Brunkager when Joe requested for them to be cut out into anvil shapes for his Blacksmith Christmas party. Now, I had already made up the dough with whole blanched almonds in it, so I had to shift gear for this un-traditional request. I let the dough come to room temperature and I removed the whole almonds from the dough. There were still smaller pieces of almonds mixed in, but that turned out OK for rolling out the dough. So after I made the anvil cookies for him I remembered that I have some cute animal cookie cutters and I decided just to continue on making my Brunkager into cut-out cookies instead of the traditional round. I think they turned out really kinda cute, especially the squirrels.
Note: In the traditional round Brunkager there are blanched almonds in the dough. If you want, you can still leave add almonds but they need to be finely chopped in order for you to roll the dough out. And I wouldn’t add too many, start with 40-50 grams and see what you think.
200 grams butter (7 ounces), at room temperature
200 grams sugar (7 ounces)
1 deciliter syrup (0.4 cup) (100 milliliter)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
325 – 350 grams flour (11.4 – 12.3 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
50 grams blanched almonds, finely chopped (1.7 ounces), Optional
For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar (110 grams)
1 tablespoon meringue powder
about 1/4 cup warm water (60 ml)
In the bowl of an stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or electrical mixer add butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Add syrup, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, mix until combined. Holding back a small amount of flour for kneading the dough, add the majority of the flour and all of the baking soda, salt and almonds (optional). Mix until combined, careful not to over-mix. Turn dough out onto working surface and using the remaining flour, knead the dough briefly until smooth. Divide dough into two equal portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Place dough in a zip-lock bag and let dough rest in refrigerator overnight.
Remove dough from refrigerator and let dough rest on your counter for 30-40 minutes. Preheat oven to 176 degrees C (350 degrees F) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface roll out dough to approximately 4-5 mm (0.2 inch) thickness. Using your favorite cookie cutters, press out the cookies and using a small spatula gently lift dough onto cookie sheet. Bake in the middle of oven for 9-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before moving to cooling rack. Once cookies are completely cooled, decorate with icing if desired.
To make Icing: Note – for these particular cookies I only iced along the edges of cookies. If you plan on filling in cookies with icing, I would recommend doubling the icing recipe.
In a medium bowl sift together powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add warm water in increments, while mixing with your electrical mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth and glossy. Proper consistency is when a ribbon of icing falls into bowl and remain on surface for a few seconds. Add more confectioners sugar if icing becomes too thin. Use icing immediately or store in an airtight container covered with plastic wrap directly on the surface.
Be sure icing in completely set before storing cookies in an airtight container. It could take several hours for icing to set. Merry Christmas
Source: My Danish Kitchen