These elegant, light and crisp butter cookies are quickly going to be your favourite! Easy and quick to prepare, full of that delicious, buttery flavour and melt-in-your-mouth texture. It's hard to stop eating them, once you have started!
What's a Danish butter cookie?
My UK readers will be more than familiar with Viennese whirls, which are very similar to butter cookies. This iconic cookie (or a biscuit, depending where in the world you are) is made of the simple mix of butter, sugar and flour. They have wonderful, crisp and delicate texture, which just melts in your mouth with each bite you take.
Butter cookies don't have any leavening agents, and at their most basic version have no flavouring either, however, vanilla, almond, chocolate or coconut are often used to enhance their flavour.
They often come in a various shapes and sizes. Piping bags with different nozzles are used to achieve some of their twisted shapes.
How to make sure your cookies turn out perfect
Although this is a very simple and easy to make recipe, there are few things that potentially could go wrong. Follow the below tips to make sure your bake is successful every time:
- Beat the butter and sugar until really pale and fluffy- this way, you incorporate more air bubbles and create perfect texture for the cookies. It should have almost whipped-like consistency at the end of mixing.
- Go easy on the milk- Start with adding only 1 Tbsp of milk to the dough mixture. Transfer a small amount of the dough into piping bag and test it's consistency. If it's too hard to pipe it out, add another ½ Tbsp, and test again.
- Chill the cookies- This is non-negotiable and essential to ensure your cookies will hold their shape. Chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes will firm up the butter and a whole structure of the cookie will become more sturdy. If you add more milk to the dough, add more chilling time.
- Use a piping nozzle with large opening- Because this cookie dough is piped (to give the cookies their beautiful, twisted and swirly shapes), you need a piping tip with large opening. I used large open star tip, but other tips will work just as well. Wilton 8B, Ateco 826 or 827 will be great too. The universal Wilton 1M will also work, but you may have to add more milk to the cookie dough, if using it (because it is a narrower nozzle it will be harder to pipe the dough through it).
- Do not overbake the cookies- They don't take long to be ready! Depending on the size of your butter cookies, they may need less or more baking time. Mine took 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they are ready when their edges are just starting to turn golden brown.
Decorating the cookies
Danish butter cookies taste perfect just as they are, plain. However, you can also decorate them in many different ways. One of the simplest ways is to dip them in some melted chocolate. You can use dark, milk or white chocolate.
Simply dip the cookies in melted chocolate and place on a baking tray lined up with baking paper or silicone baking mat. You can also add some festive sprinkles on top of the chocolate. Finely chopped nuts will also be a great addition.
Other options include adding a small amount of your favourite jam into the centre of the cookie before baking it, or sprinkling some granulated sugar on top of them.
Make ahead and storing
You can chill the piped cookies on the baking tray in the fridge for up to two days. Cover the cookies with kitchen wrap, if chilling them for longer than 1-2 hours, to prevent them from drying out.
Shaped cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months. I f baking from frozen, add an extra couple of minutes to the baking time.
Store any baked cookies in the airtight container for up to a week.
Thanks for reading today's post! If you tried this, or any other of my recipes, I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and a rating below, your feedback always makes my day.
Danish Butter Cookies
- baking trays
- electric mixer
- piping bag and selection of large piping tips
- 230 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 70 g icing/ powdered sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract vanilla bean paste will work too
- 270 g plain flour
- 30 g cornflour/ cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1- 2 tbsp milk any
- Before you start, make sure you have baking trays ready. You can line them up with baking paper, or use silicone baking mat, although it is not necessary. Make sure to have enough room in your fridge, to be able to fit the baking trays.
- Place the softened butter and icing sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer and beat together until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Add almond and vanilla extracts and beat again, scraping the bottom and the sides of the bowl to ensure it is all mixed in.
- In a large bowl, combine together the flour, cornflour and salt. Tip half of the flour mix to the butter and sugar mix, beat to combine, then add the remaining flour and mix again until combined, scraping the bottom and the sides of the bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of milk and mix well.
- Transfer the cookie dough into a piping bag with a nozzle of choice (you want to use the nozzle with large opening tip, to easily pipe the dough). I used large open star nozzle, but others that will also work great are Wilton 8B, Ateco 826 or Ateco 827. Do not overfill your piping bag, smaller amount of cookie dough will be easier to handle and to pipe.
- Pipe the dough onto baking trays. If it is too hard to pipe, add a little bit more milk to your dough. Make sure to add only about ½ Tbsp of milk at a time, before adding any more. Place the baking trays with piped cookies into the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C (160 C fan). Bake cookies in the middle shelf for 10 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking tray for 5 minutes, before transferring into a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To decorate, dip the cookies into some melted chocolate and sprinkle with your favourite sprinkles.
- you may get different amount of cookies, depending on how big or small you pipe them
- if the dough feels to stiff and to hard to pipe, add more milk to it. Add only about ½ Tbsp of milk at a time, before achieving the right consistency.
- the more milk you add, the longer you should chill the dough for. 30 minutes is a standard chilling time.
- large piping tips will work best, however, the universal Wilton 1M will work too, but you may have to apply more pressure when piping it. You also may have to add more milk to the dough if you are using this smaller nozzle with narrower opening.
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