Norwegian Christmas Cookies

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4 from 7 votes
These easy Norwegian Christmas Cookies are a crispy, cinnamon cookie, known as Brune Pinner. They are a delicious Scandinavian treat that my family loves.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Norwegian Christmas Cookies - these easy crispy cinnamon cookies, known as Brune Pinner, are a delicious Scandinavian treat

Tracking PixelThese easy Norwegian Christmas Cookies are a crispy, cinnamon cookie, known as Brune Pinner.  They are a delicious Scandinavian treat that my family loves.

Norwegian Christmas Cookies with a white and red bow wrapped around it, on a white plate.

This post is sponsored by McCormick®.  All opinions are 100% my own. 

The holidays have always been a time for traditions in our family.  There’s something comforting about making the same things every year while reminiscing and tell stories about Christmases past.

To honor the Italian side, we always make homemade pasta, Italian Anisette Cookies, and Pizzelles, flat anise-flavored cookies made with a pizzelle iron.

For the Norwegian side, I make Kringle, a cinnamon sweet bread we serve on Christmas morning, and these Norwegian Christmas Cookies called Brune Pinner, which loosely translates to “brown sticks”.  I’ve also tried making traditional Kransekake (a gorgeous Norwegian wreath cake) but the results were disastrous.

Norwegian Christmas Cookies with a white and red bow wrapped around it, on a white plate.

I remember the first time I had these Norwegian Christmas Cookies.  My aunt and uncle were visiting from Norway during the holidays.  My aunt had made these cookies and brought them with her.  Her carry-on luggage is always filled with delicious homemade Norwegian treats.  I took one bite and knew I had to learn to make these cookies.

I had to make a few tweaks to her original recipe to accommodate ingredients that aren’t easily found in the States.  But the result was just as good.  These cookies are light and crispy with warm cinnamon and vanilla flavors.  And, I love the crunch from the chopped almonds on the tip and the sweetness from the sanding sugar.

Pure Vanilla Extract, Ground Cinnamon, Nuts, Cinnamon, and metal knife all on a square wooden plate.

Because this recipe are fairly simple, it’s important that you use good quality ingredients.  It ensures that your recipes have the best flavor possible.  I always use McCormick® seasonings and flavorings in my recipes.  I know I can count on the quality and flavor.  I used McCormick Ground Cinnamon in this recipe.

Ground Cinnamon bottle spilled on a wooden plate

As soon as I opened the bottle the cinnamon aroma makes me remember baking with my grandmothers.  I just love how scents can immediately transport you back in time like that.

These cookies help keep me connected to my Norwegian heritage.  But, even if you’re not Norwegian, you should try adding this easy cookie recipe to your Christmas cookie platter.  They go perfectly with a big cup of tea.

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Norwegian Christmas Cookies - these easy crispy cinnamon cookies, known as Brune Pinner, are a delicious Scandinavian treat

Norwegian Christmas Cookies

4 from 7 votes
These easy Norwegian Christmas Cookies are a crispy, cinnamon cookie, known as Brune Pinner. They are a delicious Scandinavian treat that my family loves.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 14 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sanding sugar
  • 1 cup chopped almonds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  • Add egg yolks, honey and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
  • Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, until fully combined.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to form batter into balls.
  • Place on cookie sheets; Cookies will spread out a lot, leave plenty of room between.
  • Whip egg whites in a small bowl until broken up.
  • Brush egg whites on to top of cookies.
  • Sprinkle sanding sugar and chopped almonds on top.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes; cookies will spread out.

Expert Tips

Traditionally, these cookies are formed into rectangles. To get that shape, use a small cookie scoop to portion the dough. Roll each portion into a 2-3" log. Brush with egg whites and top with sanding sugar and almonds. Bake as directed.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 5782kcal | Carbohydrates: 905g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 223g | Saturated Fat: 107g | Cholesterol: 748mg | Sodium: 1547mg | Potassium: 2072mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 639g | Vitamin A: 5375IU | Calcium: 824mg | Iron: 21.3mg

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9 thoughts on “Norwegian Christmas Cookies”

  1. 1 star
    I am a Norwegian baker who is very interested in traditional Norwegian cakes and food, and I must say I’ve never seen Brune pinner look like this anywhere. It almost look like you made MANDELFLARN instead, as they have that shape. Brune pinner or Caramel sticks (kola kakor) as they’ve also called in Sweden is supposed to be a dough you flatten out to about 1/2-1 cm height (not unlike chocolate chips dough) and cut to long strips when they come out of the oven (and that’s why we call them sticks). When they are finished they hold their shape and they are not crisp but chewy.

    You should check out Mandel flarn or Havregryns flarn, as they are also a very traditional Christmas cookie, and stupid easy to make. As nuts were imported and expensive in the old days, only rich families used almonds (mandel) , and those less rich used oatmeal (havre) instead. Many make them all year around as they are very crispy thin and elegant and serve them with homemade ice cream.

    Christmas cakes and cookies has to be baked before Christmas and if you were a good housewife you had to bake 7 different ones. That was very very important. Again, those who had money to spend on sugar baked 15 different ones. In my family, seven different ones is baked every single year. Depending on where you come from in Norway, the cakes you bake, are different.

    Back then, the use of eggs, white sugar and white flour was was left to be used on very special occasions as they were expensive. As there wasn’t any access to a lot of spices, many of the traditional cookies is what we today would call boring. Still, we love to bake them and every housewife or house father have often tweaked the recipe a little to make it more modern by adding chocolate, spices, orange peel etc.

    Reply
  2. 4 stars
    I just made these and they didn’t spread out much at all in baking for me either. Still delicious but they look like a normal cookie

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I made them twice now. They didn’t spread much at all and the second time the dough was so dry that I didn’t use it all. I didn’t use all of the almond mixture either. I followed the recipe to the t and I have no idea what I did wrong. They took a while to cook also. So strange. Tasted great however!

    Reply
  4. How many cookie scoops per 9 x 13″ cookie sheet- how much do they spread?

    Also it says 4 servings, how many cookies in each serving?

    want to surprise my son’s girlfriend

    Reply

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