This recipe comes from my friend (not really) Molly Wizenberg via Orangette, the loveliest food blog in the universe. I read the recipe and ran right out to buy the Lurpak butter at the most awesome food museum in the world, Whole Foods. I am not the best judge when it comes to evaluating what is sometimes called the best butter in the world. I prefer my french bread plain. Don't hate. Instead I rely upon the butter connoisseur in my home, that person who starts to shake when we're down to four lowly sticks of Land 'O Lakes. He says Danish butter is different. Better. So Lurpak for Christmas every year, I say.
Real Danish Butter Cookies, Adapted from Gourmet, December 2008
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 lb. unsalted Lurpak butter, at room temperature for 1 hour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
3 to 4 Tbsp. sanding or other coarse-grain sugar, such as Turbinado
Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Then add the sugar and beat briefly to combine. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just combined. The dough will appear crumbly. Divide the dough in half.
Roll each half between large sheets of plastic wrap into a rectangle approximately 10 by 15 inches, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer, still in plastic wrap, to a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Then remove the top layer of plastic wrap and cut into 2-by-1 ½-inch rectangles. Arrange the rectangles 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. If the dough becomes too soft, chill or freeze until it is again firm enough to handle.
Brush the tops of the cookies very lightly with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake the cookies, 2 sheets at a time, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until they are very pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes; then carefully slide the cookies, still on the parchment, onto wire racks. Cool completely. Make more cookies with the remaining dough, baking on cooled, freshly lined baking sheets. Reroll scraps once. Yield: about 9 dozen cookies, which is just about the right amount this time of year, right?