Brune pinner directly translates to “brown sticks” – a direct reference to their appearance, but an understatement in terms of their taste. They’re somewhat similar to gingerbread/pepperkaker, but with a strong hint of syrup and cinnamon, and a topping of sugar and almonds to accentuate every bite.
They also happen to be one of the most beloved Christmas cookies in Norway. Their incredible flavor and ease in making are probably what makes them stand out and has given way to their popularity across the country, with some considering them as one of the 7 Norwegian Christmas cookies, or syv slags julekaker. They are also known as karamellpinner, or kolakaker in Sweden.
These are one of my personal favorite cookies to make during the holidays and I like to use a mixture of white and brown sugar in my recipe, for flavor and texture. When making brune pinner, feel free to swap the almonds for another nut you may prefer, or omit if you have allergies.
(makes about 60 brune pinner)
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (200 g) butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark, Norwegian syrup “mørk sirup” (you can substitute with light molasses or Lyle’s Golden Syrup or an inverted sugar syrup)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or essence of vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pearl sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 180 °C. Have ready 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
In a large bowl or mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Whisk in the syrup and egg yolk (and the vanilla essence, if not using vanilla sugar).
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, vanilla sugar, and cinnamon. Pour into the sugar mixture and combine until you form a nice dough.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each one out into a long, thin sausage, about 9 ½-inches (24 cm) in length. Place 3 pieces on each baking sheet, with space between. With your fingers, press each piece flat to form an oblong shape that is about ¼-inch (½ cm) thick.
Brush each piece with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the pearl sugar and chopped almonds, using as much or as little as desired.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. While still warm, use a knife to cut each piece into small strips on an angle, about ½-inch (1 to 1 ½-cm) wide. Store in a cookie tin for a couple of weeks.
*The cookies will be more crunchy towards the ends of each piece and a little chewier in the center. They will harden throughout the longer they are kept in their cookie tin.
Look here for more holiday cookies and inspiration ♥
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