The Butter Cookie Chronicles

When you read the title of this post, you will probably first think: “Huh!?” – but I’ll start at the beginning… it was the beginning of January when we wanted to buy a new fridge. We were missing some tools to rearrange the old fridge, which is why Nathalie went to Christopher to get some castors to move the furniture. Whatever the reason, she not only came back with the transport aids, but also with a storage box with a butter cookie lid. Christopher had given us the box and said it was a designer piece, which he had also received as a gift and no longer needs. The inside of the tin, how could it be otherwise, smelled extremely of butter cookies and even washing it out several times didn’t eliminate the smell. But that didn’t matter in the end… because if you already have such a specially designed tin, then it’s probably fate to fill it with the specific content… and that’s how the butter cookie chronicles began…

The ja! Butter Cookies – a baseline

I’ve never thought about the types and shapes of butter cookies. Of course, the Leibniz ones are well known, but since I was used to always preferring the cheapest product from my student days, I got the Rewe “ja!” variant first. This also tastes just like you imagine butter cookies and also comes in two bars and at a cheap price (at least in comparison to Leibniz or bio products).

Basically, I can’t really complain about this variant of the butter cookies, but since Nathalie had already pointed out to me that all butter cookies are somehow inherently bad and you should also look at the individual ingredients, I took her advice and got the app “Yuka”. This one is free as long as you only want to scan products using the barcode. I don’t really want to advertise this smartphone app, since I’m not 100% sure whether the information there is always correct (after all, products can change quickly) or whether there is some kind of lobbying going on in the background (like with the recommendations), but at least the app shows well with a score whether a product is good or bad and also lists all ingredients with a rating. I will also write this evaluation here in my review for each butter cookie product in brackets after it and also summarize it again at the end in a table with a screenshot of the evaluation, so that there is a kind of “objective” score. The butter cookie from “ja!” has a score of 31/100, for example, which is also well in the middle. To start with: Most butter cookie products have a yuka value somewhere between 0 and 60 out of 100 points and never really do well with that… but that’s also due to the product itself, which simply doesn’t have any good nutrients, that you absolutely need for the day. This can also be seen from the Nutri-Score, which is on some products and is also often “D” from A to F.

Leibniz Butter Cookies – the Classic

I don’t have to say much about the classic normal Leibniz butter cookies (0/100). They taste almost 1:1 like the ja! version. It’s just more expensive (because of the brand), but I wouldn’t be surprised if both cookies come from the same factory. Strangely enough, they also have the worst score at Yuka with 0 points.

In addition to the original, there is also the widespread Leibniz with less sugar (5/100). René drew my attention to them. He also likes butter cookies, but would only take the low-sugar ones. Basically, sugar reduction is a good thing, but unfortunately there is a lot of tricking going on with the “light” products – and that’s the case here too. Although the sugar has actually been cut in half, the calories haven’t dropped in proportion. This is also shown in the ZDFbesseresser video, which funnily enough came out just as I was writing this blog entry. Apart from the lie of the food industry, I didn’t find the sugar-reduced biscuit to taste convincing in general.

But I found the other types of butter cookies that Leibniz also offers interesting. The worst, or at least weirdest, I found was the wholegrain butter cookies (33/100). You can clearly taste the whole grain taste, but at the same time it seems as if they were burned. It kind of has a faint charcoal flavor. Not necessarily bad… but not comparable to the others and it didn’t really meet my taste either.
I found the dinkel wheat version better (27/100). This reminded me a lot of the organic products (more on that later), but the consistency is not that good. You just have more crunch with them. The gluten and lactose-free version (24/100) is completely out of line. These reminded me very much of soft shortbread cookies, but here in a flatter biscuit shape. Since I also like shortbread from time to time, I found this variant very interesting… although I have no gluten intolerance. Maybe a slight lactose intolerance, but I didn’t notice that negatively with the previous butter biscuit variants.

Even if they have nothing to do with Leibniz, I still came across Schär butter cookies in Berlin (15/100). Since these are not organic or anything like that, I’ll mention them here… but there’s not much more that can be said about them, because I actually found them to taste more boring than the butter cookies mentioned before. In terms of taste, you can compare them to the reduced-sugar ones.

The expensive butter cookies – organic, fair trade, vegan etc…

After all the cheap or branded goods, we now come to the organic, fair trade or vegan variants, which are usually significantly more expensive. This is not only due to the generally higher price, but also because there are often fewer or smaller stacks in the packaging. I didn’t expect much from the organic and other variants at the beginning, but in fact some turned out to be my personal favorites.

The organic dinkel butter cookies made by dm (41/100) make the start. They are quite hard and crunchy and still sweet. What can I say, it hit my taste exactly. As a result, I can anticipate that they have become my number 1 among all tested butter cookies. Rewe also offered almost the same product, i.e. organic dinkel (40/100) and you can hardly taste the difference – they are practically just as good.

As a general organic brand, I also tried the Alnatura butter cookies. The dinkel cookies (44/100) are also available here again. In my opinion, these are slightly better than the normal butter cookies, but not as good as the Rewe or dm variants. The only thing that surprised me was the Alnatura whole grain (45/100). Not because it’s the best, but because it tasted better than at least the dinkel grain version from Alnatura and significantly better than the whole grain version from Leibniz, where I thought that the burnt taste of whole grain is simply part of it.

The last butter cookie that I want to present here and that completely surprised me again is Der Keks (4/100) from Veganz. In short, this butter cookie just tastes like a block of sugar, and that’s reflected in the poor Yuka rating. But it also shows that vegan doesn’t have to mean healthy… but well, because I like sweet, this biscuit is also higher in my ranking… even if I would admittedly feel bad to eat the cookie more often.

Conclusion – The comparison (and own creation)

As you can see from my review of the different products, my personal preference for butter cookies is really determined by the sweetness and hardness of the cookie. Nevertheless, it has been shown that it is apparently the dinkel grain that I simply like. This resulted in the following table with personal ranking. However, behind the rather objective Yuka score, I have always linked a screenshot from the app to show where the nutritional problems of the products lie (as long as they are still relevant).

Mein PlatzNameYuka-Score
1dm Dinkel BIO41/100
2rewe Dinkel BIO40/100
3Veganz Der Keks4/100
4Leibniz Gluten- und Laktosefrei24/100
8Alnatura Vollkorn45/100
5Alnatura Dinkel44/100
9Leibniz Dinkel27/100
6Ja Butterkeks31/100
7Leibniz Original0/100
10Leibniz Vollkorn33/100
11Leibniz Weniger Zucker5/100
12Schär Butterkeks15/100

Finally, I would like to tell about something else. After a month of buying only nutritionally good and bad, cheap and expensive butter cookie products, Nathalie of course came up with her famous phrase: “You can easily make this yourself!”. Coming home from a business trip one evening, she surprised me with a load of homemade butter cookies – nice of her. For the sweetness, Nathalie only used Xucker (sugar alternative, comparable to Stevia) and of course only whole grain was an option for the flour. Of course, the shape wasn’t that easy to make and the biscuits aren’t quite as thin and rather softer. In terms of taste, they actually turned out quite well… but unfortunately they couldn’t keep up with the commercially available products in terms of consistency 😅