This Swedish cookie is just enough different from all other Scandinavian “gingersnaps” to make it definitely special: delicate, spicy, and hot! My mom-in-law, Ellen Bradley, got this recipe from a Swedish neighbor who had been a professional baker.
For the Bradley bunch (4 brothers and one sister, each with kids of their own), Christmas without Pepparkakor would be no Christmas at all.Roll these cookies very thinly for best results and “watch watch” as Ellen says on her hand-written recipe card–they color (and burn) quickly.
1 cup unsalted butter, cool room temperature (2 cubes)
1½ cups sugar
1 egg, beaten, cool room temperature
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
finely grated zest of 1 orange
½ cup fresh orange juice
2-3 tablespoons Pepparkakor Spice (recipe below)
3¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
clear sanding sugar or sprinkles, optional
- Cream butter and sugar thoroughly until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg and beat until fluffy.
- Add dark corn syrup, orange zest, and orange juice. Mix well.
- Add Pepparkakor Spice and mix well.
- Add flour and mix just to incorporate.
- Divide dough into 3 equal portions (about 14 ounces each) and flatten each portion to a ½-inch-thick disk on a sheet of plastic wrap. Seal the plastic wrap around each portion of the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (The sealed dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days if necessary.)
- With a flour-dusted, cloth-covered rolling pin, roll the dough out very thinly (1/8-inch or less) on a flour-dusted pastry cloth. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
- Arrange cookies on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, decorate with clear sprinkles if desired, and bake at 375º for 6-8 minutes. Watch VERY CLOSELY in the final 2 minutes of baking to prevent cookies from over-browning.
- Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
- When completely cool, store in air-tight cookie tins. These cookies improve with age and will keep, if stored in a cool, dry place, for many weeks. You can also freeze them.
Makes about 6 dozen.
This spice blend benefits enormously from freshly ground whole white peppercorn. If you have a small spice grinder, do make the extra effort. You’ll taste the difference.
2-3 teaspoons ground white pepper (depending on how spicy-hot you want the cookies)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
In a small mixing bowl, combine white pepper, cardamom, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger. Store in an airtight spice jar.
Makes 2-3 tablespoons.
Copyright 2008-2020 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.