This is admittedly one of my absolute favorite cookies during the Christmas holiday; although not in the classic seven, I bet if you ask any family today in Norway you will get an acknowledgement and approving nod when mentioning “Brune Pinner”. These have been in families’ baking repertoire for quite some time in our country and are always a hit among the young and old. Chewy, crispy and moist all in one with a heavenly buttery taste with vanilla and cinnamon and a nice textural crunch from the chopped almonds they are topped with, this is a perfect accompaniment to your afternoon coffee. The name translates to something un-sexy like “Brown Pins” (one article named it the best Christmas cookies with the most boring name), but believe me, once you taste these, you will be hooked! Challenge yourself to have only one of these – it’s near impossible!
The below recipe is my grandmother’s who was an amazing cook. She passed away at 95 years old when I was only 12 years old… but I still remember her vividly and can only hope to become as great of a baker as she was!
P.S. Thanks to my sister in Sykkylven who has been great at maintaining old traditions in our family by constantly pestering my mother for these recipes and passing them on to me !
300 grams (10 1/2 oz) butter or margarine/vegan butter
3 cups sugar
2 egg yolks or equivalent egg substitute (You can use non dairy yogurt, applesauce or banana)
6 tablespoons light syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
3 tsp baking soda
About 550 grams (1 lb 4 oz) all purpose flour
Plant based milk or egg substitute for brushing
Additional sugar and chopped almonds (or hazelnuts, if you prefer) for rolling the cookies in
In a stand mixer, whip egg and sugar until combined and light in color. Add in the remaining ingredients. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes shape into an oval shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Let sit in fridge overnight. The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by either coating them with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into six portions. Roll out into thick links and lightly press down on them to flatten. Brush with egg substitute/or milk and dip in sugar and chopped almonds. Place on baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Cut the links on the diagonal into about 4 -5inch pieces while they are still warm and cool on a rack.