Monday, 5 December 2016


     Holidays can be stressful. Now I know what my mum was stressing about all those years. You see, when you are at your own house and experiencing holidays, that means that someone has to take care of sweets being around the house on those jolly days. So, who does that? Me. Obviously. But I will stop complaing, because I really enjoy baking (if you have not noticed yet) and this season is all about baking and smells coming from the kitchen. You just put on some Michael Buble music on and let the magic begin. 
      This is the month I am trying to do as many holiday recipes as possible. I initially wanted to show you all our traditional recipes for honey-dipped cookies called "melomakarona" or our buttery and icing sugar cookies called "kurampiedes". But, since my mum has not sent me yet her secret and delicious recipe (really the secret is good quality honey and fine butter), I am going with another traditional holiday recipe from a country I admire and want to visit again as it brings back so good memories.

     The first recipe I am trying this year is from Sweden, called "Pepparkakor" or else "Swedish Spicy Gingersnap cookies". If you ever been to Ikea and supported their food stuff, then you might have tried those. They are very thin and crispy cookies, smelling of spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Glorious to your tastebuds and oh so amazing as a christmas gift. You can bake a whole bunch of them, since they are quite thin, and then wrap them in cute gift bags, write a nice christmas wish and give them to your special ones. They might remind you of gingerbread cookies, but these are more spicy and less soft than the gingerbread cookies. 
     The recipe I tried was based upon a recipe from The Cutlery Chronicles, which I found to be the best to try if you are a beginner baker. You can double it if you want to make more cookies, but my advice would be to try a batch at first and then if it is successful and easy for you to follow, repeat it for a second or third batch. My batch turned very good and I was really satisfied with it. I just grabed a big glass of milk and dipped the cookies inside. Sooooo good...

Swedish Pepparkakor or Pepparkaka (plural)

ingredients (makes 40 very thin cookies)

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
90g unsalted butter
2 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup packed sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 large egg 

How do I make it?

1. Mix the flour, baking of soda and salt together in bowl. In the meantime, heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat until melted. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the foaming subsides and the butter is just beginning to brown. Turn off the heat.
2. Whisk in all the spices and then add the sugar and molasses to the butter mixture and whisk to combine until the sugar has melted and you have a smooth mixture. Add the egg and yolk and mix again with the whisk to combine. You should have a dark, sticky, smooth and glossy mixture.
3. Then, slowly add the flouring mixture into the egg-butter mixture and with the help of a spatula start mixing until you get a soft dough. Don't overmix it. Cover the bowl and put on the fridge for 2-3 hours.
4. When you want to roll the rough, bring it out of the fridge for 30 minutes. Flour a clean surface and take out your dough from the bowl. Start rolling gently the dough until you get a very thin almost 1 cm thick dough. The original recipe said 1mm, but then it is too difficult to lift the dough cookies.
5. Using a small cookie cutter, cut the wanted shapes (I used a small one) and then transfer your cookies to a baking sheet on top of a baking pan. Repeat steps 4-5 until there is no dough left.
6. Turn you oven to 130 C and bake cookies for 15 minutes. Then raise temperature too 180 C and bake for another 5 minutes. Cookies should be hard to touch and have dark edges.

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