Day 4

Today’s post has been contributed by Atlas Varsted, who organises the IAPS Cooking Day sessions. The next Cooking Day Session starts at 1pm UTC on 17th December, where we will have a go at baking these cookies – just message us for details of how to join. You can find the full recipe for the cookies below. Remember to send us photos of your cookies.

Vanilla Reef Christmas Cookies

In Denmark, one of the big things we do for Christmas, and in December in general, is bake A LOT of Christmas cookies! I grew up making 3 different kinds every year with my mum, one of which is Vanilla Reefs. Usually we make 2-3 portions of these every year plus a couple portions of other cookies! All in all about 5kg of cookies, which will last my family from December 1st until Christmas (barely). 

On December 17th, there will be a special Christmas edition of the Cooking Day sessions, starting at 1pm UTC, where we will make Vanilla Reefs from my family recipe, which is attached below. I recommend only making a half portion as you will otherwise be living off of cookies for the next two weeks 😂 . (I totally agree with this comment – I only made a quarter of the mixture, and that was plenty for the size of my mixing bowl! – Editor-in-Chief) The dough for the reefs needs to rest in the fridge for 3 days before baking. So if you want to bake along, remember to prepare the dough in advance.

(The dough took me roughly an hour to make. Chopping the almonds took ages, and if you consider that I was only making a quarter of the mixture, chopping the full amount must be a test of perseverance – Editor-in-Chief)



1 kg plain flour

500g sugar

700g softened butter

100g vanilla sugar

4 eggs

3 vanilla beans

300g almonds without the skin


Blend together flour, sugar, and butter with your hands until it looks like grated parmasan. 

Scrape out the grains of the vanilla beans and mix it together with some of the sugar to a grainy paste. 

Mix together the paste, flour mix, eggs, sugar, and vanilla sugar. 

Finely chop almonds and mix into the dough.

Let the dough rest in the fridge for three days, before baking.

Shape a small amount of the dough into a ball about 1 inch in diameter and press flat with a fork. 

Bake the cookies in the oven for 6 minutes at 200 °C hot air.

Cool the cookies on a baking rack completely before storing in sheet lined cookie tins.