In Denmark, in December, a brown cookie delights the nose and mouth. The history of Brunkager began during medieval times when, in celebration of the winter Holy Days, newly arrived spices from the Far East embellished rye bread. In 1835, newfangled cooking stoves with regulated heat permitted a refinement of the recipe to its present cookie form. Potash, a leavening agent, introduced two attributes: crispiness and a slightly bitter aftertaste. The Danish, living in a chaotic land where the woods teemed with stick bearded trolls grinning through festering teeth, reconciled to the bitter with the sweet.
Here are a few Brunkager recipes: