A Christmas Tradition: A Cookie Exchange and Recipe for Kringla – A Traditional Norwegian Cookie

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Written By Bethany Glosser

I’d like to introduce you to my sweet friend I am so honored to know, Bethany Glosser.  We both fellowship at the same church and   have started a small homeschool group for our kids.  Please welcome her as this is her first post to write on a blog.  I’m sure once you get to know her gentle spirit you’ll be just as excited as I am to see more posts written by her.  Thanks Bethany, I love ya!!

I love the holidays, especially Christmas. It is a season steeped in traditions, sprinkled with sweet memories, and filled with good things like family, festive music, and, (of course) delicious food.

One of my favorite traditions that I am a part of at home is an annual Christmas cookie exchange. I look forward to it every year.  A couple friends and I gather together with recipes and ingredients in hand to spend the day baking, listening to Christmas tunes, and enjoying each others company. At the end of the day, we divide our goodies with one another and each go home with an assortment of Christmas cookies. Well, sadly, the timing didn’t work out for me this year to participate in our little tradition.

Thankfully, this year I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the west coast with my mom and baby girl to visit my mom’s cousins in Washington State. It had been fourteen years since my last visit, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to reconnect with our extended family. Oh, and did I mention that our trip just happened to coincide with a family Christmas cookie exchange?

It was a fantastic trip full of firsts. Ellie’s first plane ride, her first time collapsing asleep in my arms (I know, at 6 1/2 months old you’d think she’d have that down by now!), her first time crawling (It’s more like creeping like an inch worm but it’s still WAY cool!), and my first helicopter ride (cross one off my bucket list!). All of these events were hugely memorable and wonderful to experience. I was truly blessed. And did I mention there were cookies?

The Cookie Exchange, Norske Style

Cookie Exchange

After my mom, baby, and I settled in at our cousin’s house, we got busy baking. For our family cookie exchange we were partnered up with a relative to pick out a couple recipes to prepare and bake together. Fun idea, right?

I was partnered up with cousin Linda and my mom was partnered up with cousin Elaine, our ever-so-gracious hostess, and lucky us we all did our baking together. After brief discussion we landed on biscotti, Rolo turtles, and a traditional Norwegian cookie called Kringla. A soft, fragile cookie with a rich buttery flavor and a hint of sweetness.


They’re a lot like a sugar cookie, but with way less “sugar” and a lot more better-ness. (Yes, I did just make up that word.)

To make, the Kringla ingredients get mixed up. You then take small pieces of dough and roll them into long ropes about 1/2” in diameter and about 6-7” long. Then you make a figure-eight or pretzel shape and bake for about 5 minutes. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of the rolling and pretzel shaping. And the fruit of your labor is so worth it. It was my first time to make these little gems, and I’m so glad I tried it out.

Kringla – A Traditional Norwegian Cookie

Kringla – A Traditional Norwegian Cookie

Kringla - a traditional Norwegian cookie. A soft, fragile cookie with a rich buttery flavor and a hint of sweetness.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, set aside.
  2. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the sour cream and egg yolks.
  4. A tablespoon at a time, add the dry ingredients until it's all incorporated.
  5. Cover, and refrigerate the dough overnight.
  6. Once chilled overnight
  7. Break off a piece of dough to roll into a rope about 14” long and form into figure eight shapes. Bake @ 400F for 5 min. (Do not allow to brown, they will end up being dry and overdone.)

What traditions do you have for the holidays? How do you incorporate your family’s heritage into your holidays? Do you have any traditional cookie favorites? I’d love to hear how you and your family celebrate!

4 Responses to "A Christmas Tradition: A Cookie Exchange and Recipe for Kringla – A Traditional Norwegian Cookie"
  1. Yum! Reading this post makes me wish my Swedish Grandma was still alive to pass on her family recipes to me. She was an amazing cook! So was my Papa Dirk… my German Grandpa. I still have some family in Sweden and would love to visit. Someday maybe :) Good job on your first post Bethany! Hugs.

  2. DB says:

    My family taught me one final step when making Kringla. After baking, give each cookie a swipe of butter. Easiest to do by holding a stick of butter with one end unwrapped. Then broil the cookies for about 2 minutes to a very light golden color.

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