Monday, December 18, 2006

Swedish Pepparkakor

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


Anonymous said...

Måste säga att din blogg är bäst! Jag älskar dina härliga recept och snygga bilder! Har inte hunnit prova något recept än, men det ska jag absolut göra.

Anonymous said...

Hoppsan, min kommentar blev anonym, det var inte meningen. Hustrun på var det som skrev.

Anne said...

Oh, tack Kicki! Där fanns det fina prylar ja, uj uj.

Anonymous said...

Fantastisk blog, hittade dig av en slump nar jag var pa jakt efter recept pa lussekatter (och jag provade ditt recept med mandelsmassa, det blev jattelyckat, ingen deg hamnade pa mina katter heller, fast jag har bara tva [katter] och dessutom hjalpte min sambo mig). Har redan bakat pepparkakor iar, men de har later otroligt goda, sa maste prova nasta ar. I vilket fall sa finns det manga fina cookie cutters har: , aven en hel del i koppar. Mvh Åsa i Brighton

Anne said...

Åsa, vad kul att du gillar bloggen! Och *tack*, det där såg ju också ut som en underbar affär. :)

Anonymous said...

I've gobbled up all of the gingerbread you sent!

I'm trying to make a house right now, it's not going so well...

Anonymous said...

I love reading about all of the different baking traditions throughout the world. Your entries have been very fun, and educational to read :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post.

Brother Atom Bomb of Reflection said...

My aunt used to make these. I'm going to try this year. Nuthin' says lovin' like pepparkakor.

julie said...

how do you pronounce pepparkakor?

Anonymous said...

GREAT recipes. I don't write/speak Swede. (American) I can go from grams to ounces. And,,,,, my last name is Bengtsson

TrymV said...

So I am very curious as to where you find the ground bitter orange? I have been looking all over for it. Anyone know who sells it in the United States?
Fred R.
Ford Farm Tractors

Anne said...

Fred, sorry! I have no idea. Maybe Penzey's?

TrymV said...

Thanks. They did not end up having it, but I eventually found it at The Spice House. I had to pay a bit more than normal for it since I had to have it shipped, but that's fine as long as I have it before Christmas :)
Thanks again for your great recipe!

Fred R.
Ford Farm Tractors

Marta said...

Anne, could you check how those 7 and 4 grams of spices "translate" into teaspoons? I don't have kitchen scales.

Anne said...

Hi Marta, sorry - I don't have all the spices available, so I can't right now. use one of the other recipes instead, they're with teaspoons: