Royal Dansk Butter Cookies

Everyone sees massive round blue tins full of butter cookies around the holidays. Then it takes us until February to eat them all. Royal Dansk, maker of the best holiday butter cookies, has attempted many designs over the years. The current lineup, evolved through years of research, intends to represent the most appealing set of butter cookie designs for the most general demographic.

It almost succeeds. Where are the shortcomings? I've taken the liberty of reviewing each of the Five Core Varieties to save Royal Dansk from another holiday season of almost satisfying their market.

Rated 3/5

The Round Ones

These are the backbone of the Royal Dansk butter cookie family. While relatively unimpressive, they have a light overall taste and consistency without any surprises. You can always count on the round ones to be slightly pleasant. These need to stay in the lineup unchanged - some people who walk near the huge cookie tin won't be daring enough to try the advanced varieties.

Rated 4/5

The Square Ones

These introduce the taster to the sugar-topped butter cookie variety. Cookies apparently don't contain enough sugar in the dough, so this variety has additional sugar fused onto the top surface. The result is a pleasant taste, but with a very rough texture. These are also the thickest variety, so eating them is relatively strenuous. It's a good idea that could use some tuning. Since the primary drawback is a high mass, I suggest that Royal Dansk change this to a thinner, more cracker-like variety.

Rated 5/5

The Pretzel Ones

These are always the first to go. It's not hard to see why - these have all of the benefits of a fused-sugar top, but with about two-thirds of the mass of the heavy Square Ones. These are the pinnacle of butter cookie development, and need to be kept exactly as they are.

Rated 5/5

The Swirly Ones

As far as I can tell, these are just the Round Ones with a more interesting shape that results in a better texture. The complex shape crumbles more smoothly for some reason, making these the most pleasant to eat. It seems like the flavor is slightly lighter as well, although this could simply be a psychological effect of the better shape. These are also a crucial element of the butter cookie lineup.

Rated 0/5

The Crappy Ones

I'm not sure what Royal Dansk was thinking when they put these into the tin between the good varieties. Dangerously similar in appearance to the Round Ones, these are tainted with coconut. I can't imagine why anyone would combine the smooth taste of butter cookies with this abomination, but it needs to be removed immediately. If someone wants coconut (I assume this happens, although I have no evidence of this strange phenomenon), they have no business looking in butter cookie tins.

Rated 4/5


Royal Dansk butter cookies are excellent, but they desperately need to remove the Crappy Ones and add more Swirly Ones and Pretzel Ones. Come on, Royal Dansk, you have a monopoly on the holiday butter cookie market. You owe it to us, the general public, to produce huge tins of cookies containing only varieties that we like. You're almost there.