Monday, December 18, 2006
Or crisp gingerbread cookies, as they're also known. A classic. A necessity. No pepparkakor - no christmas. They're crunchy, spicy and plain delicious. And whey you get tired of just eating them on their own, try spreading them with sharp blue cheese, like gorgonzola or stilton. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Most people buy their dough ready-made in the stores, and that's perfectly fine. However, it's not at all difficult to make your own, it's a simple matter of mixing stuff together. And waiting. This particular dough comes from a book called Riddarbageriet's Söta (Sweets from Riddarbageriet) and the only thing I've changed is to substitute a bit of the regular flour for a slightly healthier alternative, dinkel flour. (Also known as spelt.) The resulting cookies are probably not any healthier, but they are crunchier than usual.
I used a plethora of cookie cutters, and for the first time my cat's head cutter, handmade in copper. It made me realise that copper cutters really are superior, and now I must endeavour to collect many, many. (God knows where I'll find them though - I found my first one on a small craft's fair last year, and have never seen any more. Except for on Ebay.) On the top of the want-now-list is a snowflake cookie cutter, like the one Lex Culinaria has. Beautiful!
But more to the point, use any cutter you'd like. Dagmar has cute Moomin cutters. Or go with traditional Men. Or hey, make a house! (The link is to a Swedish magazine holding a contest for the prettiest gingerbread house.) Either way, this is the dough you want.
It's supposed to rest in the fridge for at least one week, preferrably - according to the original recipe - two. I baked mine after one, and it was excellent - I doubt the longer time will do much to change it, but I saved a bit to try, so I'll let you know. If you want a more immediate dough, try my old recipe. It's a bit different though, resulting in lighter-colored cookies, with a hint of lemon.
This recipe makes a LOT of cookies. A lot.
Swedish Pepparkakor with dinkel
400 g regular white flour
200 g dinkel/spelt flour
300 g sugar
250 g butter, at room temperature
125 g cream (35-40% fat)
125 g dark syrup (molasses should work fine)
7 g baking soda
7 g ground cinnamon
7 g ground ginger
4 g ground cloves
4 g ground cardamom
4 g ground bitter orange peel
Mix all ingredients until you have a smooth and supple dough. Divide into two or more smaller pieces, flatten into discs and wrap in plastic. Keep in the fridge for at least a week.
When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 175°C. Remove the dough (a little at a time) from the fridge, and knead until it's softened. Roll out on a floured surface, and use a cookie cutter to make shapes. Place on a lined baking sheet, and then bake for 6-8 minutes, or longer if you want them to be very dark.
Recipe in Swedish:
Pepparkakor med dinkel