Thursday, December 22, 2011

Danish Kleiner's, A family tradition!

I come from a Danish Heritage, a long standing family tradition in my home is that of making Danish Kleiners!  I can remember making these with my Great-Grandmother! A Kleiner is kind of a cross between a doughnut and a cookie, maybe a doughnookie?
A Kleiner is more of a process than a recipe!  It is better if you have a lot of people to help out!
Kleiners have a very unique flavor!  It mainly comes from the spice Cardamom.  In the United States, it can be hard to find, but you can usually find it at a whole foods store. 
Once you have made the dough you roll it out to about 1/2 an inch thick, and cut it into a diamond shape.  A ruler helped me make the diamond more precise, and consistant.  I made strips 1 1/2" and 3", to get the diamond.
 You make a slit in the center of each diamond.
 Then it is time to turn your Kleiner.  You basically put the top point of the Kleiner through the point. It makes a very unique design!
Now it is time to fry your Kleiner!  At my house we usually have two crews, the cutting crew and the frying crew so we can get a lot done at a time!  Fry your cookie until it is light brown.
 Unlike a doughnut, a Kleiner is delicious fresh, and it is also delicious stored for a while, some say they taste even better after a couple days!  After the Kleiners are fried and cooled we often save them in the freezer for later!
 Kleiner Recipe
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp canned evaporated milk (or cream)
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 to 8 cups flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • grated rind of 1 lemon and a little juice
  • 4 tsp. cardamom crushed
  • Crisco Oil for frying.
Start melting 1/2 a can of Crisco in a heavy pan on the stove over medium heat. Beat eggs, sugar, cream, and melted butter. Add vanilla, lemon rind and juice. Mix baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to wet ingredients, until dough is stiff. Divide dough into small enough portions to be able to handle. Roll out on a floured counter about a 1/2 thick. Cut in a diamond shape, and cut a slit in the center of each diamond. Pull one point of a diamond through the slit. Fry in oil until light brown. Drain cookies on paper towels. Add more oil to pan as needed. Allow oil to reheat before frying cookies. Store cooled cookies in a covered container. May be stored for several weeks. Cookies taste even better after a few days.

You can top with powdered sugar, we usually don't.  But it is good and dresses it up a bit! 

 If someone gives you a Kleiner, take it as a HUGE compliment... they usually take so long to make we are a little greedy and eat them all ourselves!
I hope that someday my kids will decide to make Kleiners with their family, it has been such a fun tradition!
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  1. Yum!! My neighbours growing up were Danish and used to give us a little plate of these as a Christmas gift.. I haven't had one in years now but this post has made me long for Christmas Eve's spent watching carols and munching on these!

  2. You are so lucky to have this family tradition! Thank you for sharing. I'm a new follower via Mingle With Us Blog Hop.

    I'm cohosting a Link party this week at my blog I would love it if you would stop by and link up!

  3. Those sound like they're really yummy!!! So fun to have a tradition like this to pass on to your kiddos!!!

  4. A cross between a donut & a cookie? Sounds like dessert heaven to me! Thanks for sharing the background behind this yummy tradition.

  5. MMMMMM I LOVE cardamom and this recipe looks amazing. I pinned it for later! Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me! Don't forget to stop by and get your 10% off coupon code and there are two great promotions (one ends tonight)


  6. Every Christmas since 1940 in our home we make a double batch!


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