Baking & Desserts
dec 23, 2021

Jødekager, a Danish cookie delight!

Is it too late for holiday baking? Given the activity on our Instagram feed and in our own household (Charlotte’s got Wool Roll Bread in the oven as we speak), we think not!
As we close out 2021, we’re sharing one last holiday recipe: Jødekager, a very special Danish butter cookie brought to us by our friends Jennifer and Hans at Six Dutchess Farm. I spent a charming evening last week on Zoom with Jennifer’s mom Vivian, a force-of-nature kind of a woman with her warm, bright smile, elegant caftan and impeccably coiffed hair, who showed us fortunate attendees how to make this time honored holiday favorite.
A real low-fuss cookie, Jødekager can be mixed all in one go with just your hands and a bowl, relishing the feel of the dough coming together manually as Vivian has always done. Or get out your mixer if you like, and use the paddle attachment for equally good results. Either way, the dough needs a good chilling before being rolled out and cut into circles or hearts, Jennifer’s non-traditional variation. Re-chill the dough if it gets too difficult to work with (ours did)—it’s absolutely worth the few extra minutes of your time. Vivian says parchment lined baking sheets work fine, though she prefers to bake directly on buttered pans for extra-crisp cookie bases. And do not skip the egg wash. Its crackle and shine atop the cookies is delightful.
Our household is divided on desserts with nuts, so we left the almonds off some of our cookies. I personally feel they are an important player in this recipe, though the cinnamon sugar topping isn’t half bad all alone! Guests at The Civic Kitchen cookie swap last weekend proclaimed them all delectable, kind of like a pie dough crossed with a shortbread cookie, with a tender, buttery crumb. We think they will earn a spot in many a future cookie tin!
Happy holidays to one and all. We hope it’s sweet.


Danish Christmas Cookies

Author the Civic Kitchen

Jennifer of Six Dutchess Farm says: "Nothing reminds me of family and holiday warmth more than these traditional Scandinavian butter cookies, also known as Jewish Cookies or Jødekager. Bake a big batch to serve with Christmas tea or coffee or pack them in a colorful tin to give away as holiday gifts. You will have friends asking for them year after year."

Adapted from: Six Dutchess Farm, adapted from Gyldendals Store Kogebog, Under Redaktion Af Nina Leerhøy, Else Vinkel, Lise Bræmme, 1956
Yield   25-30 (3-inch) cookies


Cookie Dough:

300g all-purpose flour, sifted (about 2⅓ cups pre-sifting)

200g unsalted butter, preferably European-style, at room temp (14 tablespoons), plus a little to grease the pans

125g granulated white sugar (½ cup+1 rounded tablespoon)

1 egg

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt


1 egg

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or sanding or demerara sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup almonds, coarsely chopped


Make the dough: Mix the dough together in a medium bowl. Use a stand mixer and paddle on low speed, or mix by hand—the dough comes together easily with no machine at all! Mix until no dry areas of flour remain and the butter has disappeared into the dough.
Dump the dough onto your work surface, knead it briefly by hand, and pat firmly into a flattened disc. Wrap snugly in saran wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or more, or freeze for up to 6 months (defrost overnight in the fridge before rolling).
To proceed, let the dough sit at room temperature until it can be rolled out without cracking, about 20 minutes. While you wait, heat your oven to 350℉. Prepare 2 baking sheets, either greased with butter or covered with parchment paper.
Prepare the toppings: Beat the egg and salt together briskly to make egg wash. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. Have the chopped almonds close by.
Roll and cut: Roll the dough out ⅛ inch thick on a floured work surface. Work efficiently so the dough doesn't become too warm and sticky. If it does, chill it for a few minutes until firm and workable.
Use a 2 to 3-inch round (or heart-shaped, for a non-traditional look) cookie cutter to cut out cookies, placing them on the pans one inch apart. Gather and re-roll the dough scraps, chill briefly, and cut more cookies. Repeat until all dough is used up.
Brush the entire top of each cookie with egg wash. Sprinkle a circle of cinnamon sugar on each one, leaving the edges bare, and top with chopped almonds.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until light golden (start checking at 10 minutes). Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cookies will keep for up to a month in an airtight container.