Pepparkakor, the cookie of Christmas in Sweden. Or, better yet, traditionally eaten on the day of St. Lucia on December 13th. I'm a bit backwards, however, I'll write a little blog post on the significance of St. Lucia at some point.
Back to the cookies. I've already coined the term, peppar-crack-or, because of how delightfully addictive they are! Fun to make with the kids, and otherwise known as ginger bread cookies or ginger snaps, here's a recipe that will make the holiday season that much sweeter. Also, I apologize for not having healthier options but, whatever, sometimes we need to be a bit naughty.
The Ginger snap or Ginger thin, Pepparkakan is a cookie that has been developed in Sweden during centuries, to become the cookie it has been the last hundred years. With its delicate flavor of ginger, pepper and other Herb’s baked so thin and crispy. It has become one of the favorite cookies in Sweden.As far back as the 15th century came the first ginger cookies to Sweden through German monks. The first documented evidence of the cookies is from 1534 the time of the famous king Gustaf Wasa, that the world’s biggest skiing event in Sweden is named after. Through the centuries the ginger cookies has mostly disappeared in the other countries and developed into the Swedish specialty that it is today.
The Name in Swedish “pepper cookie” is probably a name that the cookie got because the people in older times could not specify the spices so it was the dominant one that gave name to the cookie. The first Pepparkakor that was made was not brown as it is today. Instead they were white and often decorated with caramel color. That was the tradition in to the 1800. About 1830 changed the color to brown and the heart shaped Pepparkakan started and became popular. The heart shape is from old tradition combined with goodness and kindness. Perhaps has the belief of the cookies good influence of your spirit life connection with the heart shape of the cookie. It is believed in the folklore that you became kind after eating Pepparkaka, so just in case, take one.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- Melted white chocolate or Royal Icing, for decoration (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and cream to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes, overnight, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 to 1/16-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. (The thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be). Place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Slide cookies and parchment off the baking sheet onto the counter top to cool. Dip cooled cookies into melted white chocolate to decorate, or decorate with Royal Icing. Icing is optional. Still good plain.