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Cinnamon Smoked Soetkoekies


You might have heard of burnt butter, but have you ever tried making your own smoked butter? I remember when I first opened JAN in Nice, one of my biggest challenges was braaiing things, because the laws around creating open fires in Europe are quite strict. I’d light coals and burn them in foil-lined pots just to get that smoky taste of home. Over the last 10 years, I’ve braaied and smoked more ingredients than I can remember, but I never really tried smoking butter…. until now. The moment I did, though, all I could think of was using that butter to make soetkoekies. There are so many variations of soetkoekie that I feel a smoked butter version only adds to the rich heritage of this nostalgic tuisnywerheid treat.

Cinnamon Smoked Soetkoekies

Makes: 45 cookies | Preparation Time: 3 hours | Cooking Time: 15 minutes


for the soetkoekies

227 g (218 ml) smoked butter * can be replaced with plain salted butter

200 g (260 ml) granulated sugar

2 eggs, large

480 g (1135 ml) cake flour

40 g (63 ml) corn flour

2,5 ml fine salt

5 ml vanilla paste

5 ml cinnamon, ground

cinnamon sugar for dusting

edible flowers

for the smoked butter

300 g (313 ml) butter, salted

3 cinnamon, sticks

2 star anise, whole



If you don’t have a smoker at home, you can make one by using a medium-to-large pot and lining the bottom with heavy duty foil. This will help prevent the charcoal or woodchips from burning and staining your pot. Line the bottom of the pot with pieces of charcoal and light using firelighters. Allow the coals to heat for about 20 minutes before using. While your smoker is heating, portion the butter into cubes and place it in a bowl together with the cinnamon sticks and star anise.

for the smoked butter
Place a wire rack over the pot and the butter bowl on top of that, cover with foil and allow the butter to smoke until completely melted. Make sure your fire is not too hot, and the butter doesn’t burn.

Strain the butter into a flat container to make sure it cools down quickly. Place the butter in the fridge until completely set before using in the cookie batter.

for the soetkoekies
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the sugar and butter together using the paddle attachment on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add one egg at a time while mixing, making sure it is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla and slowly beat for another 10 seconds. Sift the flour into the bowl and continue to mix on a low speed until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Cover the dough and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour before rolling out and baking.

Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Roll the dough out about 5mm thick, and cut into circles using a round cutter about 5 cm big. Sprinkle half of the cookies with cinnamon sugar, and the remaining place edible flowers on top. Place the disks on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.

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