Iâ€™m not sure if this is a generational thing or what, but I have this incredible soft spot for canned Danish butter cookies. And they must be Kjeldsens (I bet you couldnâ€™t have spelled that without consulting that familiar blue can, and btw, how the heck do you pronounce that, I canâ€™t!?). Growing up, having a can of these cookies in the house meant that someone had recently come back from a foreign trip, had been to the PX goods stores in Dau, or we had received a generous gift from a dinner guest, friend or relative. My first pick out of the five (yes, there are only five) shapes were always the cookies with the super dried up raisins, then the pretzel shaped ones with large grains of sugar on top. Third choice were the rectangular ones, the round ones fourth and last and my least favorite, the horseshoe shaped cookies. I loved the consistency of the shapes, the SMELL of butter and the rich sweet flavor. Though these cookies have about 30% butter content, it seems that the heavy scent of dessicated coconut is what contributes to the very “buttery” smell. The dessicated coconut also provides the â€œrichnessâ€ or tongue/mouthfeel that is actually simply coconut oil. Good grief, had I known that a major ingredient for these cookies probably came from the Philippines, I would have tried to bake them at home. Turns out dessicated coconut, coconut oil and other forms of coconut flavoring is a key ingredient of a lot of commercially baked and packaged cookies, as they have a smell that people associate with butter and richness. While I appreciate home-baked butter based cookies and have made thousands of them in my lifetime, I still look for this canned taste several times a yearâ€¦
There is just something about the uniformity of the butter cookies, the little opaque waxed cups that neatly hold them in place, and the way the cookies taste with Coke with lots of ice (my first beverage pairing of choice as a kid), then with either with Diet Coke or hot tea as an adult. They are wickedly high calorie so I should shun these cookies as much as possible, but I cannot resist one of the â€œgarapataâ€ ones whenever they are in residence. I refer to them as the â€œgarapataâ€ ones because at some point someone tried to gross me out by saying the raisin ones were like eating dried ticks or garapatas… The thought stuck, but they made me love the cookie even more. Even if the darn sticky garapatas stick between the teeth with infuriating certainty. On our recent trip to New York, Mrs. MM and The Kid saw and bought some scented tea light candles and they have the fragrance of butter cookies! Is that outrageous or what? When a tea light is burning, the entire living room smells like you have been trapped inside a can of Kjeldjsens! If you havenâ€™t done it lately, buy a can of these cookies, open it up and stick your head in for a good deep intake of butter/coconut essence. I am a bit obsessive about this particular brand and I am convinced that I can tell the difference if blindfolded between Kjeldsens and the other copycat brands out thereâ€¦ The company’s website says that they make a whopping 200 million pounds of cookies a year! That is the equivalent of about one of these tins of butter cookies (900 grams) for each and every Filipino on the entire planet at the moment! And just in case you haven’t inspected a can lately, the large can has an even number of each shape, totally 24 pieces of each shape or 120 cookies per tin. I just remembered now that I saw a recipe for butter cookies with dessicated coconut in an Australian magazine months agoâ€¦hmmm, if only I could remember where it wasâ€¦ Please, if you are Danishâ€¦ how do I pronounce KJELDSENS?!