Klejner, Kleiner, Kleyner?
A Danish Christmas Cookie

My name is Karen. I am of Danish descent on my father’s side. I’m also kindda great. In short … I am a great dane.

How Danish am I you ask? Well I’m Danish enough to be able to say thank you and you’re welcome. Unless a comment or question can be answered with either of those two words I’m outta luck. And so is the person asking the question.

I’m also Danish enough to be fair skinned, fair haired, and perpetually in need of sun. Somewhere in a shoebox there’s a picture of me tanning in a hole dug out in the snow in my parents backyard. That was back in the day when people wore sun tan oil as opposed to sun block. I wish I were tanning at this exact moment, but it’s Christmas and I refuse to go away at Christmas.

Christmas is for arguing with family, complaining about not knowing what to buy people and withholding excessive amounts of liquor from my mom Betty. Oh! And cookies. Christmas is about cookies.

I inherited this recipe for Klejner, Kleiner, Kleyner from my father’s mother. Who, by the way, wasn’t Danish. Yet she is the one who taught me how to say thank you and you’re welcome in Danish. This is turning into a very convoluted post isn’t it?

Gramma’s Klejner, Kleiner, Kleyner



The Ingredients



Add your dry ingredients to your handy, dandy mixer. Mix. If you don’t have a handy, dandy mixer … mix. By hand.



Add your butter.






Add your vanilla. Or your neighbour’s vanilla. Whatever you have on hand.



Add your milk. Or your cow’s milk. You can even add CREAM if you want!






Add your eggs.



Mix. Are you sensing a theme here? Once you have everything mixed together pick some of the dough up and feel how sticky it is.



If it feels sticky add a tiny bit more flour and mix again. You want the dough dry enough so it isn’t sticky, but not so floury that it’ll crack when you roll it out.



It will look like this. Except your pastry board might be different. You might not even have a pastry board! Just be prepared for a few differences when you look down at your blog of dough.



Divide your dough in half and roll it out into something as close to a rectangle as you can get.



It needs to be between 1/8 and 1/4 inches thick.  Closer to 1/8th.



Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1″ wide strips.



Like this.



Then cut the dough the other way so you have 3″ strips.



Using a knife, cut a small slit close to the middle of the strips.



Now you have the base of the cookie.



Fold the longer end of the strip into itself a little bit.



Bend the end towards the hole in the cookie.



Insert the end into the hole.



Pull the end through the hole completely so you end up with …



… a knot!



Repeat with all the dough until you have a big pile of uncooked knotty looking things.



Now whip out that deep fryer and heat it to its highest setting. If you don’t have a deep fryer you can fry them in a pot. Yup. They’re fried cookies. The best kind of cookie as far as I’m concerned.



Carefully drop your cookies into the fryer. You can do about 10 or 12 at a time.



Once the cookies have browned on one side, flip them over with a fork or whatever you have on hand, so the other side gets browned. They only take a couple of minutes to cook so keep an eye on them.



The cookies will be golden brown. Like you’d expect a fried cookie to be.



If you’re a bit of a pansy you can drain them on a paper towel. I happen to be a pansy.



As they cool the cookie will get crunchy.



At this point you can either admire them or eat them. Or give them away. Or eat them.



And that my friends is how you make a Danish Christmas Cookie.

They’re one of my favourites, because they aren’t overly sweet. In fact they aren’t very sweet at all. If you want them sweeter add a little bit more sugar. Another classic way to make this cookie is to omit the vanilla and instead add a bit (1/4 tsp) of cinnamon or crushed cardamom seeds.

They aren’t quite as fantastic as a good, reclining soak in the sun, but at this time of year … they’ll have to do.




  1. lækker

    Look it up!

    OK, nevermind. It’s Danish for delicious.

    • Sonja Johansen says:

      Good morning Karen,

      I also am a Great Dane on my fathers side , in our house at Christmas we made something very similar – same recipe but add a couple of tablespoons of brandy to mix and a dusting of icing sugar to finish.
      try this it is really good!!!

      Have a Merry Christmas

  2. Rebecca says:

    Wow! It’s like a donut cookie. I’m going to have to try this recipe. I’m also a teensy bit Danish, but not Danish enough to even know how to say thank you or you’re welcome. In fact, I don’t even know any Danish people, nor could I tell you one Danish food, but somewhere way back in the family tree there’s some vikings who moved to (or more likely marauded) England.

    Can’t wait to deep fry me some cookies tomorrow!

  3. Nina Bredell says:

    Hi Karen !!
    We have those in Sweden too – and if you, for any reason, want them to be a bit sweeter – we roll them in suger once the come out of the frier… But you can have them without suger… if you must…

  4. Sharon Woo says:

    These are topsy-tail cookies!

  5. Well they do sorta look like a chaise lounge chair and are of the caramel persuasion when it comes to their coloring, so its sorta like being on vacation. Because lets be honest…you would have eaten a lot of fried food on vacation anyway right? On a side note, how often do you need to change the oil in your deep fryer?

  6. Amy Schmucker says:

    No powdered sugar on them, or cinnamon? glazed nuts? Do they taste like cookies or fried dough? Sound interesting. Enjoy them. Anything that requires frying in oil get nixed in my book. I hate the smell of oil in the house. Happy Holidays.

    • Karen says:

      You can dust them with powdered sugar if you want. I have on the odd occassion. But the powdered sugar doesn’t last very long. It just soaks in. ~ karen

  7. Rhonda N. says:

    I’m a quarter Danish, but that makes me sound like a pastry.

  8. Jo says:

    My Polish family makes these!! They end up a little lighter in colour, not sure why. And we sprinkle powdered sugar on them once they’re cool. mmmm so yummy

  9. Alexandra Dare says:

    Yummy. They look like adorable little funnel cakes. We need eat-o-vision on ze Internet over here 😀 om nom nom…

  10. Kristen says:

    I am 1/2 Danish, and will be hosting the Danish family for Christmas this year. I will be making aebleskiver and risengrod (and then Ris á l’amande for dessert), and my Mor (Mom in Danish) will be bringing a kringle. We may not live in Denmark, but its fun to celebrate a little bit Danish! I even have woven paper hearts on my Christmas tree. Gledelig Jul Karen!

    • Vila says:

      Hi 🙂 just read your comment, would YOU happen to have a good recepie for authentic Danish scones (raisin or chocolate doesn’t matter what I am interested in is the pastry)
      Thanks a bunch! And enjoy the Hollidays ‘a la Danish’ 🙂

      • Kristen says:

        Hi Vila,
        Not off the top of my head, but I can check my Grandmothers recipe box when I get home tonight. Cheers, and God Jul!

  11. Vila says:

    Danish??? Did you say DANISH??? :)))) Would you happen to have a recepie for traditional Danish raisin/chocolate scones by any chance???

  12. Rosemary says:

    I bought a contraption for a quarter at a garage sale last summer that cuts the cookies AND makes the slit in the middle. Thanks for the recipe – I can’t wait to make a batch.

    • Tanja says:

      Take good care of that Klijner cutter…they are hard to come by. I inherited the family klijner cutter and have to begrudgingly loan it to my siblings on occasion!

  13. caroline says:

    We make these in my Slovak family, only we call them ceregi (pronounced: cha-de-gee)

  14. Ally says:

    This is the knottiest thing I’ve seen all day – and I work on a college campus! (Sorry, I can’t resist a pun…)

  15. suzanne says:

    I’m of danish descent as well, on my mother’s side, and spent 2 weeks in copenhagen a few years ago. Fell head over heels in love with the country.

  16. Jules says:

    probably a dumb question but what kind of oil do you use???
    Im making these tomorrow – so excited!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jules! I just use plain corn oil from a bottle. Canola oil can be used and peanut oil is the best but it’s more expensive and harder to find. Good luck! ~ karen

    • Betina says:

      Not dumb at all , I am danish been in Canada since I was 3 and home afew times my children are first generation Canadian as I married a dane too….I am making some now my mom’s recipe is very similar only we also add 1 tsp cardemon & 1 tsp lemon juice.
      We fry in tenderflake lard , they are nice . , lift out and drain on papertowel.
      Enjoy & Merry Christmas

    • Tanja says:

      We use Crisco…gives a better flavor and texture…crunchy on the outside soft on the inside!!

  17. kathryn says:

    “add a tiny big flour”??? for goodness’ sake Karen, make your mind up!! MWAH X

  18. Claire says:

    Oh well… I’m full blown Danish, even living here (countryside of Copenhagen).
    And even if I’m not the one that usually makes home made cookies for Christmas, I absolutely NEED to try out this recipe 😀

    Tak for mad! 🙂

    (= Thank you for dinner – or rather, thank you for taking the trouble and time of cooking dinner for me. And the host will usually afterwards reply: ‘Velbekomme’ = your welcome)

    … Which is something we say in Denmark, after dinner, before leaving the table.

    And which has brought me many strange looks on my trips around the world, since we danes apparently are the only ones having this very polite custom..?

    Looking forward to tasting them 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Claire! You just used the only 2 Danish words I know, as taught to me by my grandmother. Proving exactly how important they are! ~ karen

  19. kasia says:

    OMG! I LOVE the falling snowflakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  20. jenn b says:

    with powdered sugar these would be very similar to beignets at Cafe Du Monde on New Orleans; the sugar soaks in there also, but still delicious; thanks muchly, will help in my nightly walks around the neighborhood!!

  21. Pam'a says:

    I have no business at this Danish post, other than to offer that powdered sugar won’t soak in and disappear if you let those Barcaloungers cool first.

  22. Terri says:

    Yum – fried cookies! Dangerous…

  23. Ali says:

    Actually, they are not only danish, but mostly “european cookies” 🙂 You can find it as well in Slovakia, France, Belarus, Italy, Sweden etc. 🙂 As far as I know, you can call it “angel wings”. In my country in Poland they are just “faworki” and the word “klejner” sounds really polish because of “j” inside 🙂

  24. Lori Gould says:

    My Great Grandmother, Sarah, made these for Christmas every year. I have been looking for the recipe and how to make it too. You have given very colorful and detailed directions on how to do this. There are a lot of things that have been lost through the generations of convenience that I wish could be picked up again. Thank you for bringing this one back to our family.

  25. Joshua says:

    I’m a bit Danish as well. One set of great-grandparents were danish immigrants, and they passed down the traditions of æbleskiver and kleiner. I grew up making æbleskiver (and love to use the original danish pan, though most ours were bought here) but we rarely make kleiner, as it just isn’t as big a hit. I figure if it’s going to be bad for me, it’s gotta taste like heaven.

  26. Diane... says:

    Today will be my first attempt at making Kleiner’s as the “head chef”….Only been a helper at Mother-in-Laws in past years….Wish me luck, I am so excited….

  27. Paul says:

    Hi Karen,

    My grandparents used to make these (I’m 1/2 Danish). Grammie made the dough, Bapa cut them out and fried them. They used a roller that left a zig-zag edge to the cookie (like a pinking shears would) and cut theirs in diamond shapes, so the ends were pointed. Much easier to pass an end through the slit, and prettier when they’re done! My GF just made a batch today! Yummy (CRUNCH)!!! I haven’t had a Klejner in 15 years!

  28. It is May and I just came across your kleiner post from Christmas time! But, being three quarters Danish and growing up watching and/or helping my grandma make kleiner, I had to comment. You’ve inspired me to make some – I haven’t made any since before I had kids and I simply have to share this tradition I’d forgotten about with them.

    • Karen says:

      Jenny – I always associate Kleiner with Christmas. The shape of them always fascinated me as a kid. Do it! 🙂 ~ karen

  29. Nancy says:

    My Polish grandmother in N.J. used to make something similar to these but her magic ingredient was WHISKEY. Sadly she left no recipe, just eyeballed everything and they always came out perfect. Cut in diamond shape, only fried about 30 seconds. Dust with powdered sugar. Called them Chruschiki or bowties.

  30. Bart says:

    Great explaination of the best Christmas treat to be found. BUT… they are even better when the magical spice “CARDAMOM” is added, and then one must use real rendered lard to fry them. Try it.

    • Karen says:

      Bart – I usually use lard. Lard is good. Can’t say I’ve rendered any myself though! And cardamom sounds like it should definitely be added to the Kleyner, Kleiner, Klejner this year. LOVE cardamom. ~ karen!

  31. Love these cookies! My grandma makes them every year for the holidays. I am 25% danish 🙂 I will have to get the recipe from my grandma this year and try them out. Wonder how different her recipe is from this one …

  32. rj says:

    Oh, those scandahoovians! If you were to cut these on the diagonal instead of rectangle, you would end up with the Norwegian Christmas cookie: Fatigman! Fa la la!

  33. Jakob says:

    Vila, are you still looking for that raisin scones recipe? We have a few in the notebook my wife keeps her favorite recipes in, but it’s far too late to translate it right now. Just let me know and I’ll type it up tomorrow.

    ..and just before I hit “Send” I notice the comment is ancient, oh well.. I’ll just wish you all a merry christmas instead and politely point out, that the klejner should be cut into diamond shapes for the truly authentic look. Not that it would matter taste wise.

    • Karen says:

      Jakob – LOL. I’ve seen the diamond ones. My Danish grandmother did them this way …. so that’s the way I do ’em. Oh! And everyone likes a good scone recipe. Feel free to post it! I’m actually looking for an excellent jalapeno/cheese biscuit recipe too if you happen to have one of those. ~ karen!

  34. Jakob says:

    I’m afraid jalapenos are a relatively new addition to the Nordic kitchen, so I haven’t got any recipes there. I have a few traditional biscuit recipes though, but we’ll save those for later. Now it’s time for scones!

    Scones – Comfort food for chilly winter evenings.

    850g flour (~30 ounces)
    50g sugar (~4.5 ounces)
    300g rasins (~10 ounces)
    5 teasp. baking powder
    3 dl cream (~1.25 cups)
    3 dl milk (~1.25 cups)
    2 eggs

    Chop raisins/berries roughly.
    Mix all ingredients, but hold the four; you’ll want the dough the be sticky.
    Roll the dough into ~1.25″ thickness.
    Cut dough into squares.
    I haven’t got a clue what it’s called in English, but “paint” the top of the scones with a bit of egg.
    Bake 12-13 minutes at 200C (~400 F) until they brown lightly.

    Serve with tea besides a lit fireplace, preferably overlooking a snowy landscape.

    You can substitute the raisins with dark chokolate and a bit of lemon zest for extra (sinful) points.

  35. Sandy says:

    I am not Danish but my husband is. we make these at Christmas, and once they are totally cooled, some like to sprinkle powdered sugar over them. It does not soak in. We store them with wax paper between the layers, in a cardboard shirt box

  36. Mike says:

    I have been helping to make these for over 50 years. I used to help my mother. Now helping my kids. Born in Denmark. Our recipe is slightly different: it includes a bit of lemon rind and also some potato flour, the dough is chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours before being rolled out, and they are cut into diamond shapes, not rectangles. In North America we cook them in Crisco shortening (the solid white stuff, not the liquid oil).

    our recipe:
    2 eggs
    100g sugar
    rind of 1 lemon
    100g melted margarine
    50g potato flour
    250g wheat flour (normal flour)
    ½ tsp. baking powder

    Beat eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in lemon rind and margarine.
    Add both types of flour and baking powder. Mix until smooth.
    Wrap dough in wax paper and allow it to cool in fridge for a couple hours.
    Place dough on floured cutting board and roll into a sheet 2.5mm thick. Cut into diamonds and fold appropriately.
    Deep fry in vegetable shortening until lightly golden.

  37. Nancy says:

    Hi Karen! As I was getting ready to make my yearly “klyner” (which my dad and my hubby call “kling-ons”) out of curiousity googled it….how very interesting! My Grandma (moms side) was born in Denmark, taught my mom to make, who taught me. Mom is now 84 and living with us, but always have her cut the dough (diamonds) and “tie” (twice), I make the dough and fry…we have always used both vanilla and cardamon with a bit of nutmeg…and powdered sugar on top. Thanks for the entertaining blog…MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Nancy! This is the first year in many I haven’t made Kleyner. I can’t wait to make it and add vanilla and cardamon. In fact, if I have some cardamon, I might just make them right now! ~ karen

  38. Louise says:

    They look great but they need the zest of a lemon in them 🙂

  39. Kirsten Nielsen Eads says:

    Hi Karen

    I am 5/8 Danish…tall, blonde, blue eyes born in the USA, but my grandmother was born in Denmark. These are our traditional Christmas cookies but my recipe is a bit different as well..
    3 eggs
    3/4 c sugar
    3 TBS Cream
    2/3 c melted butter
    1 grated rind of lemon
    1 tsp brandy flavoring

    cut in rectangles, twist thru slit in middle and fry, sprinkle with powder sugar.

    It’s interesting to see the variations of the posts above. Thanks for sharing.

  40. jennifer beaumont says:

    Thank-you Karen I have been looking for kleiner biscuit recipe as I am of danish decent both my mum and dads side are all danish except all the grandchildren like me. These were my favourite treat at Christmas time as a kid I will enjoy making these with my kids

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome Jennifer! Scroll through the comments to see other suggestions to alter the recipe from other Great Danes. ~ karen

  41. virginia says:

    Hi Karen;5 I’ve been making these for about 75 years, that tells you my age! Since my husband was Polish, they made crushki (Polish kleiners). It became a family affair every Christmas with each member taking part, mixing, rolling, carrying to the fryer, frying and then sifting the powdered sugar and packing. How hard it was to try to save them for the holidays! Oh, and since cardamon is so expensive, my daughter finds
    it for me at the Indian grocers in Mass. sold by the pound. Tak!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Virginia. Well! It’s hard to come by someone who’s been doing ANYTHING for 75 years, let alone one who’s also able to talk about it on the Internet, LOL! I’m making Klejner this weekend. Thanks for reminding me about the cardamom! I have some in the cupboard right now. I have on idea how much to add, but I’ll figure it out. 🙂 ~ karen!

  42. Gerry says:

    Karen: 1/2 Danish, both of my maternal grandparents were from Denmark. My mother was born in Brooklyn NY as so was I. As a prelude to Christmas, all of my Scandinavian aunts and my mother would get together and make kleiner. They would dust them with powdered sugar and pack them in big glass jars. After school a glass of milk and as many kliener as I could get away with. I am going to try your recipe. Thank you. By the way, the only Danish words I know are from a children’s game my mother used to play, kind of lie the “itsy bitsy spider” which involved tickling at the end. I can still say the words but don’t know how to spell them in Danish. It was “forehead, eyes, tip of the nose and lips” then you got tickled.

    • Karen says:

      Gerry – Hmm. There are a couple of Danish gals who wander around town here. I’ll ask them about it. I’m sure I’ll get a big long singing rendition that will indeed end with me getting tickled. ~ karen!

      • Gerry says:


        The chin was also involved: The way I remember hearing the words was something like: panabean, eyestein, nasatip ayaflip, agaflip and then tickling. This is a 60 year old memory and I don’t speak Danish. I did run into a Danish woman about 20 years ago who knew this game. If any of your friends can enlighten me more please let me know. Thank you.


  43. karen skiby says:

    Skiby is the name my grandfather chose to emigrate from Denmark because the agent said there were too many Olsens…whatever… so here is my Grandmother’s recipe (after we figured out how many handsfull a cup or many cups were, and some of this and some of that really was!)

    KitchenAid Mixer (my arm used to fall off after a few batches when mixing by hand, and I needed someone to hold the bowl!)
    Fry Daddy (fries just enough at a time and you can turn them easily)

    1&1/4 stick of REAL sweet cream unsalted butter
    5 eggs (room temp)
    1 cup half and half (room temp)
    2 cups sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1&1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1&1/4 teaspoons salt
    Approx 9 cups flour (don’t faint…you probably won’t use it all
    Canola oil

    Separate eggs. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat til creamy. Add vanilla, then half and half (add the half and half slowly so you don’t wear half of it) beat until it is a lemon color. Whip egg whites until very stiff in a separate bowl, then fold into mixture on low speed. Add baking powder and salt to first cup of flour, then add to dough. add flour 1 cup at a time until dough starts to stiffen and ball up. Remove dough and knead on floured board until dough holds form (and feels kinda like a baby’s butt…mom said that not me). let stand on floured waxed paper for at least ten minutes.

    Rolling dough: Begin with about a softball size, and roll on floured board to abt 1/4 in or 0.7cm (I estimate, cuz I have been making them for forty years) Cut into 1 inch strips, cut on diagonal for 2 inch long pieces, and place slice in center. Fold and place on platters, dinner plates, blah blah, till all rolled out. Fry in Fry Daddy with canola oil at 350 degrees, 3 to 4 at a time until they rise to top, turn when they are a very light golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and store when cool in covered container…like a roasting pan because you will be giving them to friends, or eating them until you groan.
    These are a tradition in our family and I have taught my daughter and daughter in law, who have taught their children in turn!

    All my best,

  44. Susan says:

    There seem to be many different recipes for this delightful little cookie

    Our recipe (family from Svendborg)
    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    4 eggs
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 tsp ground cardamom
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    2 tbsp cream
    1 tbsp lemon juice

    Mix to a soft dough and refrigerate for a few minutes to make it easier to roll out. We cut ours diagonally and usually fry in Crisco shortening.

    I had a round ball-shaped cookie from a friend who said it was traditional in her family and it tasted exactly like klejner! She was born in Iran and raised in Egypt. Those naughty Vikings!

  45. Paula Toft-Nielsen says:

    My husband’s parent (both from Denmark) father deceased mother very itt – have brought him up very Danish and I too am interested in many of the traditions as I also have 2 boys. My mother-in-law always made me Mel Boller when sick – I now find myself wanting to carry on some of her tradtions – however I am unable to find the Mel Boller press. Do you know of anywhere I can purchase this item – would love to surprise my husband hwen the cold weather comes back and make him his favorite soup (from a child). Your help IF POSSIBLE is greatly appreciated.

  46. Leah Gregersen says:

    I am one quarter Dane and have made these every Christmas as long as I’ve been alive! We use heavy whipping cream instead of milk. We also use 6 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs. We also use Crisco as the oil. I don’t have my recipe in front of me, but I son’t think we use vanilla at all. Finally, if you cut your long strips with angled cuts, making diamonds, then make a slit lengthwise and pull the top through the dough, they make a shape that my grandmother (100% Dane, immigrated in 1924) says is THE traditional shape! We even actually have a roller tool that makes all the cuts for you!

    • Mary Jo says:

      Yes! This is the recipe my mother got from her Danish mother (I am 1/2 Danish) – funny how the ingredients vary. Here’s the recipe we have, and I just made them yesterday morning – they are really, really yummy, not too sweet, & go great with coffee. My mom also identifies them as Danish Crullers:
      6 egg yolks
      2 whole eggs
      1 cup sugar
      2 tablespoons cream
      1 teaspoon butter (yes!)
      flour – not measured – here’s the guideline: Add as much flour as can be stirred with a spoon. Turn onto floured board and knead in flour until it will not stick to hands or board.
      All other steps are the same, except we drain on brown paper, aka as paper grocery bags!

      • Lynsey says:

        Mary Jo – yay we use this recipe too! except a little more butter (1tbsp) and as far as flour goes found out 4 cups works best. … and once cooled we dust with powdered sugar!

  47. Karen Snedker says:

    Oh my!! I am SO excited to find this/these recipe(s), the blog and the entertaining and informative comments. What a find!

    I, too, am a Great Dane! Likewise, I, too, am Karen, only know a few words, (being the daughter of parents who both emigrated from Denmark as young children), and it was also my Far Mor who always cooked the Klejner.

    I have to say I was starting to think with all these amazing synchronicities, I must have written this blog without remembering doing so! I was laughing out loud, feeling such a kinship with you Karen, and all the other Great Danes here. My Grandma also made her Klejner diamond shaped – LOL, and I can distinctly remember lemon rind and icing sugar. I can now hardly wait to start baking!

    Mange Tak!

  48. Jim says:

    My mother an her siblings could not speak English when attending school. Therefore Danish was not to be spoken at home. The language was lost to me except for a few terms. On to Christmas traditions relative to cooking. Every X-mas the family makes aebleskiver and klejner it’s a good omgas. Now I have a question for you and/or your readers – grandmother use to make rhubarb pudding. To the best on my ability, the pudding was regurt or rugert??? Anyone know its reciepe or correct pronouncement??
    Klejner cutters (made of metal) can be purchased in Solvang, CA. We purchased one for each of our kids.
    Klejner cutters make a diamond shape wth a slit in the middle.
    Glaedelig Jul

  49. Maren says:

    Hi Karen, my name is Maren (pronounced like car, not care).
    Tak for mad and velbekomme, also the only Danish we learned from Dad. I’m planning on making Klejners tomorrow. My Mom (not Danish at all) made every Christmas till she passed away 25 years ago. We lost Dad this year, so maybe the Klejners will be a little bit of Dad on Christmas Day!
    My question to you is: what type of shortening do you use?
    Glædelig Jul (one more Danish phrase to add to the list)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maren – I’m sorry about your Dad. That’s a tough thing to get through. It’s funny you’re making kleyner today … I was thinking of making them today as well! A lot of people say lard. You can only use lard to do your kleyner. But, I’m pretty sure today I’m going to use plain old vegetable oil. But those people who prefer lard? They’re right, lol. It really does add to food. 🙂 ~ karen!

  50. Melodie says:

    My Swiss-born grandmother made the same little treats every Christmas. She called them Schlieferlies.The tradition has carried on for 4 generations in our family. The recipe is very similar, but much heavier on eggs – s single batch uses 9 eggs. We cut them and fry them the same way,and dust them with sifted powdered sugar when they have cooled.

  51. june says:

    both my parents and all my ancestors are Danish, and this recipe of yours is nothing like the original, sorry but just had to let you know that. there is no baking soda in this recipe, its calls for baking amonia, and whipping creme. my mom used to make these every year for Christmas, and now that she has passed away, my older sister now makes them every year for Christmas.
    your recipe has been altered. although i’m sure they are quite good, it’s not an original recipe.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well, June, Kleyner is kind of like Shortbread, there are a million different recipes. So it’s not a matter of being the original recipe or not, more a matter of which original recipe. ~ karen!

    • Linda says:

      Thanks for your comments, we have always used the baking amonia, but very hard to find anymore. I believe the whipping cream was also in our original recipe. I will be in trouble if I don’t fix these tomorrow.

  52. Pingback: Cookies & Klejner, København-Style

  53. Verna says:

    I consider myself the melting pot of America (six nationalities), married to a Swede – Norwegian for almost fifty=five years. I make Fattigman, the name used by the Swede Norsks for this recipe. But this year I am going to use this one as my grandson’s girlfriend was telling me hoe much she missed having them at Christmas since her grandmother is gone. Had a terrible time finding the recipe as she didn’t recall the name, but perseverance and the internet came through. Thanks so much for your web site.

    • Karen says:

      Good luck with them Verna! I have *never* seen the same kleyner recipe twice. They’re all different! But this is the one I grew up with from my grandmother. The only problem is, I have no idea if she was a good cook, lol. Hope your grandson’s girlfriend likes them. ~ karen!

  54. Betty Wright says:

    I have made these cookies for years at this time of year. I had misplaced my box with all my old recipes from my great gramama and grandma so i was so pleased when i look it up and boom there it was on the next Now I can cook some this weekend Just got me a new deep fryer they are so good I roll them twice in reg sugar and also add a bit of cinnamon to the recipe that is the way i was told as a kid. good luck to all and happy holiday msbetty

  55. Mxbetty says:

    To Karen I just sugar in bowl an when cool enough to handle I roll about two at a time when I finish once I repeat hope you enjoy msbetty

  56. Tanja says:

    I am first generation American as both my parents moved to the states when they were children. We make Klejner every year though we put grated orange peel in…so good! We also deep fry them in Crisco shortening. Have you ever made Aebleskiver?

  57. Bob Pedersem says:

    Is there any significance to the shape of the Kleiner?

  58. Tom says:

    Can you buy these already made in Utah


    Hi Karen, My name is Karen also and both my father and mother were born in Denmark. I have made Klejner for decades now. Thought you might like to try a different shape as well. Cut the dough as a rectangle on an angle ( as in a diamond shape) and make the slit in the middle pointing to two points , you still take one point and slip it through the middle and it works the same, just looks neater. The oldest Danish cook book that I have, and I mean old, recommends Crisco. I use cardamom and Almond flavoring. For the Aebleskiever we put out small dishes of powdered sugar, apple sauce and red raspberry preserves for the guests to choose from and even some like maple syrup to choose from.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen! I’ll be making Klejner this week and will indeed be adding cardamom. I’ve seen that shape but have never used it because my grandmother taught me to do it this way but maybe I’ll give a few of them a shot to see how they turn out. 🙂 ~ karen!

  60. annely says:

    Hi Karen! I am estonian and it’s really amazing, how some recipe (or it’s modifications) is widely spread. these cookies have been made in Estonia also and they are called ears of pig 🙂 (seakõrvad).
    Häid jõule!

  61. Anthony Nemelka says:

    This is wonderful. Very similar to a recipe my grandmother passed down, which it seems she spelled completely wrong, but here’s the recipe: http://www.nemelkafamily.com/kliner.html.

    A key ingredient her recipe includes is Almond extract, at about 3/4 the amount of the vanilla. Adds a very memorable aroma at Christmas time.

    • Karen says:

      I just made my klejner last night Anthony. And I ended up omitting the vanilla and using cardamom. I think it could handle both next time. I also did what another reader suggested and dipped about half of them in sugar after frying them. Wow. WOW! They’re delicious. I’ll go have a look at your recipe now. 🙂 ~ karen!

  62. kim jensen says:

    Just a few comments.

    As you might now, klein, comes from German meaning small- However we Danes (100% born and raised myself) have a similar word, klejn, pronounced “kleyn”, also meaning small or fragile.

    So, the proper spelling would be klejne. (J is pronounced as your y, hence Jensen is Yensen and so on). So, one cookie is klejne, two or more cookies would be klejner. “Klejners” would be plural with added English plural..

    And diamond shape is the proper way 😀

  63. Karen says:

    I remember these from my childhood. My Danish grandmother used to make these every Christmas but with cardamom. My aunt actually was the one who taught me how to bake and fry these.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve been adding cardamom for the past few years now Karen! It’s great. Apparently my grandmother was making them wrong her whole life, lol. I’ve rectified that now. 😉 ~ karen!

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  65. Bonnie Christensen says:

    My mom (from Copenhagen) made the cuts so that the cookies are a parallelogram before turning inside out. They lay flatter. She used a deep fry pan to make them. I have never made them because I am a little scared of deep frying in my home, but I may be adventurous this year. ! As a child I really loved helping mom making these.

  66. Karen Cross says:

    Hi Karen,

    my name is also Karen and I am half Danish on my father’s side as well! Middle name is Michelle. What’s yours?

    Anyhoo, you make yours just like my Aunt and I do, except we use Ammonium carbonate, aka Baking Ammonia and then we sprinkle them after frying with powdered sugar! They are GREAT!

    Thanks for sharing and letting me share!

    Merry Christmas

    • Karen says:

      Hello half Danish Karen! I’ve taken to sprinkling them with powdered sugar after baking them in the past few years! If I have time (Danish fingers crossed) I’ll be making Kleyner/Klejner/Kleiner tomorrow! ~ karen

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