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Seven Types of Christmas Cookies: Day Three

Dec 8, 2013

Despite the German-sounding name, “Berlinerkranser” (Berlin Wreaths) is as Norwegian as lutefisk and Jarlsberg cheese—and an important part of our cookie collection during the holidays.

Why the reference to Berlin?

It is believed that a lot of Scandinavian baking traditions came from German immigrants and their bakeries/recipes. The Germans were considered masters at their craft and hence their baked goods became integrated into the Norwegian (and Swedish and Danish) food repertoire. Reversely, many Scandinavians went to Germany to learn the trade there.

Regardless of the actual facts, there is definitely a connection between Germany and Scandinavia!

I was able to trace back recipes for Berlinerkranser as far as 1903 for these cookies—so it’s safe to say they’ve had a relatively long history in Norway.

Image from

Berlinerkranser is considered as one of the “seven” in the traditional cookie round-up for Christmas, with its rich aromatic taste, and they are many people’s favorite. 

The baking of these can prove to be quite the test, but the result will be the most delicious Christmas cookies—I promise!

These buttery, wreath-shaped cookies are easy to make and can be made ahead of time and frozen until ready to enjoy, so there is no need to stress minutes before—you can bake these whenever you have the time.


Makes about 30 cookies

*2 cooked egg yolks (see below for the recipe to replicate animal-free egg yolks)
2 raw egg yolks or substitute 1/2 cup applesauce
125 grams or 1/2 cup granulated sugar
250 grams or 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
about 300 grams or 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Egg white  (or substitute nut-based milk)  and pearl sugar for decoration

Preheat oven at 350°F (175°C). Prepare cookie sheets by coating them with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mash the cooked egg yolks well.

In a stand mixer, whisk the raw egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Combine with the mashed cooked egg yolks.

Add the butter and flour and lightly work into a dough.

Don’t mix too much, as the dough can become difficult to handle.

Let the dough rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Remove the dough from the fridge about 1/2 hour before rolling out. Roll into about 6-inch links and shape them into wreaths. 

The temperature of the dough is important here. If it’s too cold it may not be pliable enough to form it into the circle or if it is too warm, the link may break. This may take a few turns—but don’t despair!!

Brush the cookies with the egg white or plant-based milk and dip them in pearl sugar.

Place them on baking sheets about 2 inches apart (they will expand) and bake them on the middle rack of the oven for about 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.

Cool on a rack and keep the cookies in a cookie jar or freeze.

*How to make vegan egg yolks:

1 lb. extra firm tofu (but I’d wager any kind would work just fine)
4 T Vegenaise (as a general rule, I loathe Vegenaise and Nayonaise and all that crap, but they work for this recipe. If you want to concoct something out of almonds or cashews, I’m sure it will be great too.)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 t salt
¾ t black salt
1 t turmeric

Put all ingredients in the food processor. Whip until smooth.


  1. Karen I Ford

    Love these and they were always a part of every Christmas plate of cookies. Sometimes my mother would sprinkle them with chopped almonds instead of the pearl sugar.

    • Sunny

      Great to hear from you, Karen – and yes, many sprinkle these with chopped almonds, which is delicious as well!

  2. saucygander

    I’ve never seen a cookies recipe that uses cooked egg yolks! Intriguing!

  3. Marcie

    How do you cook the egg yolks? Are they just the yolks from a hard boiled egg, or do you do something else?

    • Sunny

      Hi Marcie! Yes you just use yolks from a hard boiled egg. I bring a pot of cold water with the eggs in to a boil. As soon as the water boils, I turn off the heat, put a lid on it and leave them for 10 minutes, then rinse. This always works!

      • Marcie

        Excellent! I shall have to make all the cookies now! 😀

        • Sunny

          Great to hear, Marcie! Happy baking! 🙂

  4. Sophie33

    Yum Yum yummmm,….I love the vegan version too. I Will try them.

    • Sunny

      Thanks, Sophie! I think most baked goods can be made in a delicious way the vegan way… let me know how it works out!! Thanks again! xoxo

  5. Melady

    My grandma used to make these but I never would have guessed they had hard boiled eggs in them. Intriguing. I wished I’d lived closer and could have baked with her. I must try them just for the fun of it.

    • Sunny

      Good to hear from you, Melady and exciting to hear you will try these out! Let me know what you think! Wishing you and your family happy holidays filled with tons of delicious cookies! 🙂



  1. Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Berlinerkranser – Outside Oslo - […] Arctic Grub and one of my contributors at The Norwegian American, where I’m the food editor. The name, Berlinerkranser, she…

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