Danish Sugar Pretzels

The pretzel shape has a long history, supposedly invented centuries ago by an Italian monk to represent arms folded in prayer. The recipe for these tiny, one-bite pretzels is adapted from Beatrice Ojakangas’s Great Scandinavian Baking Book.

30 mins
10 to 12 mins
1 hr 10 mins
6 1/2 dozen cookies
Danish Sugar Pretzels


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment, or lightly grease.

  2. To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, egg, vanilla, and heavy cream. Mix until a cohesive dough forms. Press into a slab, wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.

  3. To shape: Pinch off 6g to 7g pieces of dough (the size of a small walnut); or use a scant teaspoon cookie scoop to portion dough. Roll into thin strips about 6" long.

  4. Holding the ends of the dough, form into a “U” shape. Twist the top ends of the dough around each other 1" from their ends, then fold down and place the ends on the curved part of the “U” to form a pretzel shape. The shaped pretzels should be about 1 1/2" across; if they're larger than that, the strip of dough is being rolled too thick.

  5. Dip the tops of the cookies in pearl sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets sugar side up. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.