Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)

December 17, 2018
Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)

Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)Brune pinner directly translates to “brown sticks” – a direct reference to their appearance, but an understatement in terms of their taste. They’re somewhat similar to gingerbread/pepperkaker, but with a strong hint of syrup and cinnamon, and a topping of sugar and almonds to accentuate every bite.

They also happen to be one of the most beloved Christmas cookies in Norway. Their incredible flavor and ease in making are probably what makes them stand out and has given way to their popularity across the country, with some considering them as one of the 7 Norwegian Christmas cookies, or syv slags julekaker. They are also known as karamellpinner, or kolakaker in Sweden.

Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies) Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)Brune Pinner (Norwegian Christmas Cookies)These are one of my personal favorite cookies to make during the holidays and I like to use a mixture of white and brown sugar in my recipe, for flavor and texture. When making brune pinner, feel free to swap the almonds for another nut you may prefer, or omit if you have allergies.

Brune Pinner

(makes about 60 brune pinner)

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (200 g) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark, Norwegian syrup “mørk sirup”  (you can substitute with light molasses or Lyle’s Golden Syrup or an inverted sugar syrup)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or essence of vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

To top/decorate:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pearl sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 180 °C. Have ready 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

In a large bowl or mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Whisk in the syrup and egg yolk (and the vanilla essence, if not using vanilla sugar).

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, vanilla sugar, and cinnamon. Pour into the sugar mixture and combine until you form a nice dough.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each one out into a long, thin sausage, about 9 ½-inches (24 cm) in length. Place 3 pieces on each baking sheet, with space between. With your fingers, press each piece flat to form an oblong shape that is about ¼-inch (½ cm) thick.

Brush each piece with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the pearl sugar and chopped almonds, using as much or as little as desired.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. While still warm, use a knife to cut each piece into small strips on an angle, about ½-inch (1 to 1 ½-cm) wide. Store in a cookie tin for a couple of weeks.

*The cookies will be more crunchy towards the ends of each piece and a little chewier in the center. They will harden throughout the longer they are kept in their cookie tin.  

Look here for more holiday cookies and inspiration  ♥

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  • Reply Janice Quick December 18, 2018 at 3:57 am

    These are delicious! I am always looking for new things to add to my Seven Sorts. As soon as your post came up, I realized that I had everything I needed, used Golden Syrup. They are already done, cooled and packed in a tin. But I had to sample and I love them. I did a combo of sparkling and pearl sugar with the almonds. I usually can’t leave a recipe alone. But I don’t think I will tinker with this beyond the sparkling sugar. It’s perfect.

    • Reply nevada December 19, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      I’m so glad you made these right away, Janice! And that you thoroughly enjoyed the recipe as is 🙂

  • Reply Kayla December 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    OMG! I’ve been meaning to make brunepinner for years. When I came across your site (I believe you posted about your cookbook in AiN?) and this recipe, your pictures sold me 😍 just made them and they’re insanely good! I may like them more than pepperkaker 😱 we used slivered almonds instead since that’s what we had, and chilled the dough for a bit because it’s so hot in the kitchen. This is going to be a staple every Jul! Tusen takk!

    • Reply nevada January 3, 2019 at 11:02 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these!! They are also a clear favorite of mine 🙂

  • Reply Paul Strandoo January 5, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    I grew up in a Norwegian-American home with loads of Norwegian cookies and pastries but I don’t recall ever seeing these, so I gave them a try this past Christmas. Needless to say, they were a big hit with my family and friends, so I’ll be making them again for sure. A new tradition! Thanks!

    • Reply nevada January 19, 2019 at 9:05 am

      I’m so glad to hear you all enjoyed them and will be adding them to your traditions! 🙂

  • Reply Little Cooking Tips February 4, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    How did we miss this one? Wow. Pinned ASAP!:) Stunning photos, and now we’re both having sugar cravings lol:) Exceptional work Nevada.
    Sending you our love,
    Mirella and Panos

  • Reply Agnes March 8, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    I made it exactly as you wrote (using cups not metric system) and the dough ended up being very crumbly and wouldn’t hold. I used a hand mixer. Should I have mixed it for longer? Or maybe next time try to use metric? Maybe was too much flour. Love your website!!

    • Reply nevada March 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Agnes! I am so sorry to hear that it came out crumbly. Yes, I would try measuring the flour in grams as it could just be the type of flour. Let me know how it goes for you the next time you make it 🙂

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