Christmas Cookie Exchange: Scotch Shortbread and Berlinerkranser

 Two holiday favorite cookies that I make each year.  One is a Scotch Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate.

The other is called Berlinerkranser.  It is a Norwegian cookie.  My best friends mother used to bake the most memorable Norwegian cookies each Christmas.  She was so amazing.  She would store them in tins placed in a cool furnace room in their basement.  We found her hiding place one year and had a delightful tasting while hiding in the furnace room.  We were naughty, but most of my childhood memories were with my friend Kathy.  Oh the stories I could tell you.  We were into mischief most of the time.  Fun, delightful mischief.  Good times...good times....

I chose these particular recipes to ship because they travel well and can be well packaged and their flavors both seem to ripen with age.  I hope you enjoy baking them.  They are ,as my grand daughter would, say "easy peasy lemon squeezy". 

Scotch Shortbread

You will need:

1 pound unsalted butter (you should really use the cultured butter, so should I)
1 cup confectioners sugar
4 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the whopping pound of butter.

Hopefully you will spread the joy of the butter so the full pound doesn't end up on your hips.

Beat the butter just a bit to loosen it up and make it all creamy.

Add the flour.

Confectioners sugar

And cornstarch.  Not necessarily in that order.  It's a pretty forgiving recipe.

Beat the batter up until a smooth dough forms.

The dough should be very pliable.  Better than play dough.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.

Roll the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness.

It doesn't have to be an exact measurement or a perfect rectangle.

I use a pizza cutter and the quilters ruler that my grandmother gave to me to make quilts with...whoops.

You can pretty much cut the shortbread into what ever shapes you want.  I have cutting them into 1' x 1 1/2' rectangles.  

Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet or an ungreased baking sheet.

Prick the cookies with a fork.

Just because.


Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool.

I like to place my shortbread in tins layered with waxed paper.  They will store for at least 3 weeks in a cool place.  They can be frozen as well for over a month.

I like to give my shortbread just a little dip in a bath of dark chocolate.

You all know how much I love nuts.

After the little dip in melted chocolate I like to give them another little dip in chopped almonds. You can use whatever nuts tickle your fancy.  

Just thought of something.  How cute would crushed candy canes be on the tips?  So festive.


For the Norwegian Berlinerkranser you will need:

3/4 cup unsalted butter (look what I'm cultured butter, yum)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
grated orange zest from one orange

Give the butter a few turns with the paddle to lighten it up and then add the sugar.

Beat until creamy and then add the egg and beat well.

Add the orange zest

and the flour.

That was easy.

For the top of the cookies you will need:

1 beaten egg
sanding sugar OR pearl sugar OR both

Take one tablespoon of the cookie dough.

Roll it between your hands to create

shape the long worm into a circle or a wreath.

I have seen a Berlinerkranser shaped like this before.

I'm sticking to the way Laila made them.

Brush each cookie with the beaten egg.

Sprinkle with sugar.  

Ya, I'm pretty sure I just like the regular sanding sugar, or regular granulated sugar best.

You choose.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

They will be barely golden around the edges.

I store Berlinerkranser the same way I store shortbread.  Layered in tins.

There you have it.  Two simple, yet fabulous holiday cookies that are perfect to share.
Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking.

Scotch Shortbread
1 1b. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
4 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl cream butter.  Gradually add sugar creaming well.  Add lour and cornstarch (which have been sifted together) a little at a time, creaming until dry ingredients have been blended.  Gather mixture into ball; knead on a lightly floured board to 5 – 10 minutes.  With a rolling pin, roll out about ½-inch thick.  Cut into 1 ½ x 1-inch squares; prick top with fork tines; bake on ungreased cookies sheet for 25-30 minutes or until barely showing signs of browning.  Tops of cookies do not brown much nor do shapes of cookies change.  Remove cookies to rack; allow to cool.  Sire in foil-lined, tightly covered tin.  Shortbread may be eaten at once, but ripens and mellows with age.  Keeps indefinitely.

Makes about 5- 6 dozen.

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread:

8 ounces semi-sweet Chocolate, melted
Chopped nuts ( assorted, such as sliced almonds, pistachio, macadamia, etc.)

After cookies have completely cooled dip one end of the cookie in melted chocolate and roll in chopped nuts.  Place on a sheet of waxed paper until chocolate hardens.

Print this recipe

Berliner Wreath - Norwegian Christmas cookie

3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg  
grated zest from one orange
2 cups flour

1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons sanding sugar or pearl sugar

Mix butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the egg and beat well.  Add orange zest and flour.  Mix to form a stiff dough.  Take 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a rope then form into a circle creating a wreath shape.  Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  Cookies will be light and barely starting to brown on the edges.  Cool completely.  Makes 30 cookies

Print this recipe


  1. These were amazing. I am definitely saving this recipe for another time. Thanks so much for sending me some :) Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you so much for the cookies. They were delicious! The packaging was also beautiful! Thank you again.

  3. I baked the shortbread cookies today, they are delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. I'd like to tell you that I gave some little boxes filled with those shortbread cookies away as Christmas presents to friends and neighbours. They all told me how delicious those cookies were, and some of them asked for the recipe. I baked them a couple times since then, because my husband loves them too. Thank you again.

  5. Where can I find a flour mat like yours?

  6. Hi Beth, I purchased my mat at a local kitchen store. I found this on Amazon and it is very similar. It's basically canvas fabric with the edges sewn. I hope this helps.

  7. Perfect! I can't wait to make these this weekend with my daughter. I haven't been in the mood to make cookies for the last few years but I'm feeling it this year! These recipes look delicious. I love your blog. Thank you!

    1. The holidays get so busy that I don't take the time to do what I enjoy the most...baking!

  8. How long should I bake shortbread in a mold

    1. I have never used a mold for shortbread. I would assume until the shortbread barely browns.