Nana Recipe Wednesday–Danish Pastry Cookies!

by Sarah on March 31, 2010

Ever since I’ve been working on Nana’s recipes I’ve been getting more interested in finding out more about my family’s history.  We knew SOME but it was all pretty fuzzy to me.  I have since been sucked into where I’ve been finding out all sorts of interesting tidbits.  Guess what?  I’m Irish!  Hahahahahahahahaha.  Just kidding.  I already knew that.  I mean, just LOOK at me.  No, but really, I found out that some of the folks immigrated from Ireland to Quebec!  Maybe that’s where I inherited my French food fetish.  Then my great-great-grandparents went to Minnesota.  Canada?  I would’ve never guessed.

I also have learned that I have ancestors with oddball names such as:  Easter, Milberry, Shaddrack, and Zadock.

Anyway, I got totally and completely engrossed in this stuff and nearly forgot to make anything for Nana Wednesday!  Thankfully I remembered just in time, and these quick and easy–yet scrumptious–tea cookies are the result.  As the Second Vice President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of St. Rose Hospital, I’m sure Nana had to provide delicate cookies such as these for many ladies’ events and luncheons.

You can see why I chose these cookies.  I actually had all the ingredients!

First cream the butter and sugar.  Then add the flour and an egg yolk and mix it well.

After you make the cookie dough, you’ll have to grind the walnuts to roll the cookie balls into.  I used the little food processor, but make sure you don’t grind them up too much or you’ll end up with walnut butter.

On the left is the reserved egg white, mixed up, the middle is the ground walnut and on the right is a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into balls about the size of a walnut.

Dip the balls first in the egg white, then roll in the crushed walnuts.  Place on the baking sheet, then using your thumb or finger, make a depression in the middle of each cookie.

Bake them in a 375* oven for 5 minutes, then pull them out and press down on the depressions again.

  Put them back in the oven and let them continue to cook until they’re golden brown.  Mine took another 10 minutes or so.  Transfer to a rack and let them cool for a couple of minutes.

Find some stuff to put in the depressions!  Jam, jelly, cherries…..

Put a dollop of sweet stuff in the depression in the cookie.

I had plum jelly, strawberry jam, apricot jam and maraschino cherries.

They look awfully festive and sure are tasty.  What is nice is that they’re not too sweet.  Perfect with a cup of tea!


Nana's Danish Pastry Cookies


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cube (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 to 1 cup walnuts, ground
  • jam, jelly, cherries for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375*.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and mix well. Add egg yolk, reserving the egg white in another dish.
  • Roll dough into balls, about the size of a walnut. Dip each ball into the egg white then roll in the ground nuts. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a depression in each cookie with your thumb. Bake for about 5 minutes, then remove and press down on each depression again. Return to the oven and let continue to bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Let cool on a rack for a few minutes, then fill the depressions with jam, jelly or cherries.
  • Makes about 15 cookies.

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