Sunday, August 20, 2017

Danish Butter Cookies #SundaySupper

Homemade Danish Butter Cookies are so easy and delicious!

Danish Butter Cookies

The blue tins of sweet, vanilla and butter flavoured cookies were ubiquitous at school growing up. Since they were relatively cheap, peanut free and plain enough to suit most kid's palates, we would have these as our "snack" occasionally, and almost always as "dessert" on pizza or hot dog days. Kids would argue over whether the pretzels or the wreaths tasted better, trading for their favourite. But I'll let you in on a little secret.

I hate those cookies.

Call me spoiled, but "butter cookies" to me are nothing compared to my mom's shortbread. Sure, I like butter in cookies (looking at you, chocolate chippers), but if you call a cookie a butter cookie, it better bring the flavour. The tinned ones tasted of nothing but sugar - no vanilla, no butter... just dry-ish sweetness.

However, I used to work with someone who, like my childhood friends, loved those cookies. As a gift, I decided to make him a batch - but better, with lots of flavour from both butter and vanilla. I knew I couldn't really do all butter, since it would spread like crazy (and chilling the dough wouldn't let it go through my piping bag), so I mixed in some butter flavoured shortening. To amp up the butteriness even more, I tossed in a bit of butter flavouring.

Once the butter element was taken care of, it was time for the vanilla. Vanilla sugar was a no-brainer for me, since it's what I make every time I have a spent vanilla pod. Speaking of vanilla pods, the seeds of one, plus a dash of extract, went in next, until the dough smelled of nothing but butter and vanilla - or what I once heard referred to as "angel farts" (I can't remember who said that to me once, but it stuck).

Since I don't have (or want) a cookie press, to get the pretty designs, I stuck with a piping bag and large star tip.The dough was a bit too stiff for eloquent wreaths or pretzels, but rosettes looked pretty and they all baked at the same rate. Being two-biters, a few with a cup of tea (or glass of milk) makes a perfect mid-afternoon treat - and one I wish I remembered from my childhood!

This week's #SundaySupper is celebrating after-school snacktime - whether it's something you need to pack in the backpack (if your kids are like me growing up, after-school care was a fact of life, as was getting home at 6PM) or a treat kids can quickly fix after a long day, there are lots of ideas this week!

Cookies

 

Fall Flavors

Healthy Snacks

 

Savory Snacks

 

Sweet Snacks


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Danish Butter Cookies
Makes ~24
¼ cup unsalted butter (ideally European-style), softened
¼ cup butter-flavoured shortening
⅔ cup vanilla sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
½ tsp butter flavour (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
½ tsp kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat together the butter, shortening, sugar, extracts and seeds until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, milk, and salt and beat on low speed until just combined.
  4. Scrape into a piping bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch star tip and pipe 2-inch swirl or wreath shapes onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake until lightly golden on the bottom, about 14 to 16 minutes.
  6. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove and cool on a rack. 
 Amount Per Serving
Calories: 97.9
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 5.5 mg
Sodium: 15.4 mg
Total Carbs: 13.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 1.5 g