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Serinakaker – Norwegian Butter Cookies


Serinakaker, glistening with pearl sugar and chopped almonds


photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com
Serinakaker, while a classic type of Norwegian Christmas cookie, are so easy to make that it's a pity not to enjoy them more than once a year. While the cookies will have a finer texture if you're able to use hartshorn, baking powder can be substituted for equally delectable results.

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. hornsalt (a.k.a. hartshorn or baker's ammonia) or 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup cold butter, diced into small cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla sugar (or substitute 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup pearl sugar


Whisk together flour and hornsalt (or baking powder). Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs. Mix in beaten egg to form a soft dough; stir in sugar and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375º. Pinch off dough into balls the size of a walnut; place on ungreased or silpat-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on the top of each ball, flattening them slightly. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with chopped almonds and pearl sugar.

Bake on center rack of oven for 10-12 minutes (Note: If using hornsalt, you will notice an ammonia smell as the cookies bake. No worries – this quickly dissipates, leaving the cookies with a delicate texture without affecting their flavor).

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen Serinakaker butter cookies.

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