Meet my latest obsession; Danish raspberry slices, or “Hindbærsnitter”, in Danish. Best described as, an unassuming little square of jammy goodness. Raspberry slices are an incredibly popular treat in Denmark that can be found in almost every bakery shop in the country.
It’s funny, despite their popularity, and the many snack breaks we took, for the life of me, I can’t recall seeing them when my family and I traveled to Copenhagen a few years ago. My raspberry slice discovery came in the states along with my growing curiosity of Danish cuisine.
WHAT ARE HINDBÆRSNITTER?
The literal translation of Hindbærsnitter is “raspberry slices” or “raspberry chops,” which more or less tells you how this traditional Danish cookie is formed. When you break them down, Hindbærsnitter are comprised of sliced shortbread-like (or shortcrust) cookies, sandwiched together with raspberry jam.
Traditionally, there is a thick coating of sweet icing on top of the pastry, which balances with the barely sweet cookie layers. Hindbærsnitter are commonly decorated with a distinct crushed freeze-dried raspberry (available at Whole Foods or on Amazon) topping, but colorful sprinkles are also very popular.
I have read a lot about these cookies since I discovered them and the simplicity of them, I think, is what makes them so remarkable. This is not my recipe, this recipe from “ScandiKitchen: Fika and Hygge” by Brontë Aurell, and I have adapted it only slightly. The original recipe, as printed in the New York Times, can be seen here. The author recommends a not-too-thick layer of good-quality jam, that is key. If you do a deep-dive on this famous cookie, you’ll here lots of mixed opinions on what makes these raspberry slices with “pop-tart vibes” so tasty.
The consensus out there about what makes raspberry slices so delightful seems to be–the jam. Many believe only homemade jam does the cookie justice. But others argue, it does not need to be homemade jam, but good quality jam is essential. Personally, I think a case can be made for both. And while raspberry is the most common jam flavor, I believe any jam will work and I have recently seen blackberry version that sounds simply divine. Sometimes the most simple treat can be the most satisfying, as is the case here. Cookie and pop-tart fans alike will thoroughly enjoy this Danish treat, so go ahead and add them to your need-to-make weekend baking list right now.
Danish Raspberry Slices (Hindbærsnitter)
- For the Shortbread:
- 14 tablespoons, cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For Assembly:
- 1/2 cup good quality raspberry jam or preserves
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons dried raspberries
- 1 Tablespoon colored sprinkles (optional)
- Step 1 Prepare the dough: In a medium bowl, toss together the butter and flour. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingertips), rub the butter bits into the flour until the mixture resembles cauliflower rice. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. (The mixture will look like very finely crumbled Parmesan at this point.)
- Step 2 In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla extract. Stir into the dough — or use a pastry cutter to integrate it — just until the mixture is smooth. (It may look like the mixture needs more liquid, but the butter and egg should suffice.) Take your hands and squeeze the dough a few times just until it comes together and appears fully hydrated (no dry white spots). Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before using.
- Step 3 Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the chilled dough into two equal portions. Cut parchment paper to line two large baking sheets, plus a third piece of similar size to help roll out the dough. Working on one sheet of parchment at a time, roll out each portion of dough, sandwiching it between the extra sheet of parchment for ease, until roughly 10 inches wide, 12 inches long and a scant 1/4-inch thick. (Expanding the dough evenly requires even pressure applied to your rolling pin. If your dough is expanding in the wrong direction, trim outside portions and move the trimmed portion to a more desired central position, “gluing” it in place with your fingertips.) Prick each slab of dough all over with a fork to prevent them from puffing.
- Step 4 Using the parchment paper, lift the dough, transfer each to a large baking sheet. Bake both until lightly golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks to cool, about 15 minutes.
- Step 5 Once the cookies have cooled, spread one of them with the jam until evenly coated. Carefully set the other crust on top, pressing gently to adhere.
- Step 6 Prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar with 2 tablespoons hot water, whisk to combine. The mixture should be as thick as loose honey. Add additional hot water by the teaspoonful if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Drizzle on top of the pastry, spreading all the way to the edges in an even layer.
- Step 7 Sprinkle immediately with dried raspberries or sprinkles. (The frosting can firm up fairly quickly, so you’ll want to garnish it while the toppings can still stick.) Let sit until the frosting firms up, about 1 hour.
- Step 8 Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to form clean lines. Cut into squares or rectangles, in any size you desire. Raspberry slices will keep a few days, covered, at room temperature — or in the refrigerator, though they are best enjoyed at room temperature.
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