Posted by: Sarah | January 3, 2012

Christmas Cookie Comparison: Shop Vs Sarah’s Baking

The other day I called in at the local shopping center and had a cup of coffee at Baker Nordby.  Whilst standing in the queue I saw the 7 Christmas cookies for sale so being the curious type of girl that I am I couldn’t help but buy them to see whether my cookies were up to standard!  After all, I couldn’t really make a judgement on my cookies until I know what they’re supposed to taste like.  Eliot was so pleased…after baking hundreds of cookies and giving them away I then go and buy the full set from the local bakery!

Anyway, here’s my Christmas cookie comparison post to show whether homemade beats shop bought!  The Baker Nordby cookies are on the left.  My homemade cookies are shown on the right.


I’m not a big fan of these to be honest but shop bought clearly beat homemade.  They were light, fresh but a bit tasteless.  You could probably bounce mine on the floor like a rubber ball, they were so dense, hard and also tasteless.  Everyone who got my cookie gift tin did get a warning to watch their teeth.


I think we made a mistake on the recipe with this one – I think the ingredient quantities were incorrect on the website and we cut corners using ground almonds instead of doing the job properly and grinding them ourselves.  Shop bought were much lighter in colour, thin and crispy.  Ours were much thicker and harder but I think the taste was much better.


Not much in this to be honest.  Both tasted and looked pretty much the same only my cookies had a dash of cognac in them because I was looking at the wrong instructions by mistake.  They also looked a bit more homemade because the biscuit is so brittle after cooking.



I think perhaps the homemade ones beat the shop bought on these.  They were a little thicker, tastier and had the homemade/burned look about them.  The shop bought ones were just a little too perfect :-)



I think perhaps the taste was pretty similar on both of these – crumbly and buttery.  That said, mine were bigger and looked more like a wreath than the shop bought ones so for that reason I would say homemade wins.



These tasted the same – fried!  The ones bought in the shop weren’t folded in the same way we did our home-made cookies but the taste was pretty similar.  I’d have to vote our home baked version as the best because it took 3 people 2 hours to cut, fold and fry about 80 of them.  The effort put in made it the winner for me :-) !


Oh – this was tricky.  They tasted completely different.  I preferred the shop bought cookies but Eliot preferred our home-baked version.  I must admit, our home-baked cookies were spicier and had the traditional almond on top.  Close run – I think they were equally as good.


  1. I love both krumkaker and sirupssnitter- but I can’t bake any of this! Well done, you!

    • Thanks for the comment Riglet! Next time I bake the sirupssnipper I’ll send some over. They were pretty nice – despite having pepper and other weird spices in them.

  2. Thanks for the comparison study. You have certainly inspired me to do more baking. Thanks again for your website! You are appreciated!

    • Oh thanks Anna – glad you liked the post. It was great fun eating all the biscuits to give and honest account :-) Now I’m paying the price and need to go an a New Years diet :-)

  3. I like that you put forth the effort, especially with a baby coming. Bravo!

    • Thanks Lyn – it was a bit too ambitious I think considering I was 9 months pregnant at the time but I love to keep myself busy. Lizzie is keeping me very busy at the moment. No time for baking :-)

  4. Hey Sarah! I baked (attempted to bake) the Berlinerkranser cookies in preparation for my move to Norway next week… Hmmm.. interesting! Although they tasted pretty good, they looked pretty ordinary (my friend actually said they looked like fake dog poo!) That said, it was fun cooking them and my Norwegian boyfriend had a laugh! I agree with one of the comments left… you REALLY have to have the dough as cold as possible… but the trick is being able to roll them out as quickly as possible too! Bahhhh! Next year I will get some insider information in the form of Thomas’ mother… Or…. as Thomas said… I can just buy them! But where is the fun in that! P.S I really love your blog! As an Australian about to move to Norway (Oslo) I have read your blog inside out getting as much info as possible! Thanks! And happy new year! xx

    • Hi Franceska – great to hear from you. Thanks for leaving a comment and well done you on the berlinerkranser. Most impressed that you’re getting into the Norwegian spirit! It’s funny because when I talk to Norwegians about my little challenge many just gasp and say “why don’t you just buy them?” but where’s the fun/stress/hassle/chaos in that? It’s much better to slave away in a hot kitchen trying to bake something following instructions you can’t really understand :-) Seriously, it’s been good fun and I just love giving all things Norwegian a try. Really glad you like the blog. Best of luck with the move to Oslo. Once you’ve settled and perhaps fancy a coffee, drop me an email!

  5. This was a great read! I would have to say that homemade wins everytime as you have put so much time and effort into it, and I feel that actually baking yourself is what makes the christmas spirit and feeling. About the ‘sandcakes’ – this is a cookie my mother stopped making years ago – every year she would try, but they would fall apart (like sand), or be stuck to the metal shapes, so you are not the only one to find this one a challenge :-)

    • Hi Asta – great to hear from you. I think you’re right – homemade wins every time. Although a bit ambitious (had no idea it was going to take so long) I’m really glad I did it and what made it really special was packing them up in tins and giving them as gifts for Christmas. Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one struggling with the sandcakes. The mixture was so crumbly that Eliot and I added eggs to make it more of a dough. I think that’s where we went wrong because we seem to have created concrete. They were pretty tough to eat…but tasty.

  6. Sarah, I sooooo loved this post. You certainly did a ton of baking! You’ve inspired the baker in all of us.
    Mary Eileen

    • Hey Mary Eileen – good to hear from you. It was a bit ambitious. I thought each one would take about an hour and frequently it turned out to take 2-3 hours but once you start you can’t stop until completed! Next time I’ll pick one or two :-) Happy New Year to you!

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