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Hi Bold Bakers!
Kerstkransjes cookies are one of the most festive cookies to make around the holiday season! These traditional Dutch cookies are shaped like a little Christmas wreath, which makes sense because “kerstkransjes” means … Christmas wreath.
Imagine if other desserts were named after what they looked like? Would a three-tiered cake be called a hatbox? I may be overthinking this one.
Kerstkransjes are a crisp, tender, crumbly butter cookie — not unlike a shortbread — but with an added crunchy almond-sugar topping. There are also lovely subtle hints of lemon, almond, and vanilla in every bite.
What Are Kerstkransjes?
If you visit a Dutch home during Christmas, you are almost guaranteed to see these cookies on a plate or hanging from the Christmas tree. Families will tie a ribbon through the hole in the cookie and hang them right on the branch. They’re one of the first decorations put up that suspiciously disappear over time — so it’s best to bake a couple of batches of kerstkransjes!
These cookies are a fun way to get little ones into the kitchen to help measure, mix and decorate.
What You Need To Make Kerstkransjes
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Pastry blender or fork
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- 2 ½-inch (6cm) scalloped-edged cookie cutter
- ¾-inch (2cm) round cookie cutter
How Do I Make Kerstkransjes?
This is a simple batter with a simple but adorable design! Get into the holiday spirit by following this recipe — just make sure to get all the measurements and the full printable recipe further down the page:
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt.
- Add in the butter and blend it with your pastry blender or a fork until it starts to resemble coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Then, knead this mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just comes together.
- Gather the dough into a ball, press to flatten, and put it in an airtight container to chill. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about ⅛-¼ inch (4-6mm) thick. Using your larger, scalloped-edged cookie-cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can. Then, using your smaller cutter, cut a hole out in the center of each cookie. Gather up the extra dough, reroll, and cut again.
- Place the cookies on the baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with some sliced almonds and sugar.
- Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through until the cookies are golden. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack while you bake off the remaining cookies.
- String the cookies and decorate or just go straight to eating them!
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Kerstkransjes
- Superfine sugar is finer than granulated sugar and contributes to the texture of these cookies, but you can use granulated sugar in the same amount if that’s what you have on hand.
- When mixing the dough, try to handle it as little as possible to keep the cookies tender.
- Sugar and almonds are the traditional toppings for these cookies, but it’s okay to have fun and use colored sanding sugar or sprinkles!
- These cookies have a hole in the center so a ribbon can be tied through them and hung on a Christmas tree. If you do this, you should hang them the day you intend to eat them, or they could go stale.
- Try dipping some of these in melted chocolate!
How Do I Store Kerstkransjes?
You can store any leftover cookie wreaths in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Make More Cookies At Home!
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
My Dutch Kerstkransjes Cookies recipe is as festive as it gets — one look and it's no wonder "Kerstkransjes" means Christmas wreath!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 30 cookies
- 1 ¾ cups (8¾oz/247g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (2½oz/71g) superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (5oz/142g) butter (cold and diced)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Egg wash
- ¼ cup (1¼oz/35g) sliced almonds
- Granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt.
Add the butter and blend with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, beat the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract together and then knead into the flour mixture until it just comes together into a dough.
Gather the dough into a ball, press to flatten, and place in an airtight container to chill for 30 minutes (or up to 3 days).
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to ⅛-¼ inch (4-6mm) thick and using a 2 ½-inch (6cm) scalloped-edged cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can. Using a ¾-inch (2cm) round cutter, cut a hole in the center of each cookie. The scraps can be gathered and rerolled.
Place the cookies an inch or two apart on the baking sheets, brush with the egg wash and then sprinkle with some sliced almonds and sugar.
Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until golden. Let cool on wire racks while you bake the remaining cookies.
String up with a little ribbon to use as decorations or eat as is. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.