Thumbprint Cookies Are a Norwegian Tradition

One of my good friends was recently explaining how much she missed her Norwegian grandmother's Christmas cookies. She recalled them as a simple butter cookie marked by her grandmother's thumbprint and sprinkled in sugar. I took note of all of the details and luckily, I was able to find a recipe that matched her description.

I gathered up all of the ingredients and got to work. These treats turned out to be simple and dense butter cookies, perfect for a quick dip in a cup of coffee. While the thumbprint was not her grandmother's, she was thrilled to receive a plate full of such a familiar cookie. If you want to give these traditional Scandinavian cookies a try for your holiday, keep reading.

Norwegian Christmas Cookies

Norwegian Christmas Cookies

Norwegian Christmas Cookies


2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar cubes, coarsely crushed, or pearl sugar or raw sugar


  1. Beat together 1 egg and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale.
  2. Sift in flour and baking powder and add butter. Beat on low speed until mixture forms a dough.
  3. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Lightly beat remaining egg. Roll level 1 1/2 teaspoons of dough into balls and arrange 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  6. Press thumb into center of each ball to flatten, leaving a depression, and brush lightly with egg. Sprinkle crushed sugar in centers and bake in batches in middle of oven until golden, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

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