Brown cookies – “Brunkager”

Brunkager is for us a new Christmas cookie, it is more of a Danish tradition and not very common in Norway. After being introduced to these sweet cookies by some friends we decided to make some ourselves.
© Little Scandinavian Brunkager 2010
After a little bit of recipe research, and finding elements that we think would work, we had the following recipe. When it comes to Christmas cookie recipes I’m a believer in ingredients which can be added as fractions of weight in relation to the others, 1/1 and 1/2. Or in non metric terms a cup of this and a cup of that. In this particular recipe it is twice as much flour as sugar, and butter, which keeps it simple even without a modern kitchen weight.

I have to admit that we are pretty happy with the result, and so were our Danish friends. We now have a new member in our families traditional Christmas cookies selection.

Serves: Family and Friends for Christmas
Cooking time: 1.5 hour
Preparation time: 1 hour

250 g sugar
125 g brown syrup
250 g butter, unsalted

1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon, ground
2 tsp cloves, ground
100 g almonds, ground
50 g lemon & orange peel

500 g white flour

Method, Day 1

  1. Start by melting the sugar and butter in a pan, low heat
  2. When butter and sugar has melted, add the syrup
  3. Remove the pan from the heat
  4. Add baking soda, lemon & orange peel and spices
  5. Add almonds
  6. Let the mix cool down before the flour is added, small amounts at the time
  7. When the mix has cooled down to room temperature, it is time to make small rolls of dough
  8. Split the dough in four and make small rolls, each about 1.5 inches thick
  9. Try rolling the dough in clingfilm, it makes it really easy to make perfect rolls
  10. Leave in the fridge overnight, the rolls will be very

Method, Day 2

  1. The rolls should now be very hard, and ready to be cut in very thin slices (make sure you have a sharp knife), about 3mm thick! You should be able to get 150-200 cookies.
  2. Place the cookie slices on a tray, and bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes at 200-210˚C

6 thoughts on “Brown cookies – “Brunkager”

  1. Heidi,
    If you have an IKEA near you, it can be purchased there in their food section. Also, most Scandinavian stores sell the syrup, as well.

  2. Hi, I made these last year and my mom really liked them. I looked at your recipe after she described to me some cookies she ate in an office party a long long time ago. Anyway, we don’t have the brown syrup in the US but I added some molasses and either some honey or maple syrup and they were quite nice. Since then, I have seen brown rice syrup in some of the health food shops here in the US/Minnesota, and have wondered if that is similar to what you have in Norway. What is the ordinary brown syrup made from?

  3. No, it’s not the same. It’s darker than golden and more malty and intense flavour. Available at Waitrose. Best of luck with the recipe and let us know how you got on!

  4. I’d love to try this recipe. It sounds delicious. What is brown syrup? Is it the same as golden syrup that we have in the UK?

  5. Just made these. Yum! Very spicy, despite having no ginger in. It must be the cloves. Am very tempted to give some of them a thin glaze of lemon icing – or would that be overkill?
    This is definitely my best year for homebaking so far. 🙂

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