Discover the Origin of Pepparkakor Cookies

Pepparkakor Cookies

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These thin gingery cookies are a family tradition in my house. They are delightfully old fashioned and Swedish, and have a very distinct taste from the addition of maple syrup (or, in some recipes dark corn syrup).

Pepparkakor Cookies are traditionally cut out in the shape of stars and, unlike typical gingerbread cookies, don’t contain any molasses. They remind me of visiting my grandparent’s house at Christmastime and opening tins of tissue paper wrapped cookies kept fresh in the freezer.

Pepparkakor Cookies

They are the cookies my great-grandmother made, and the ones she taught her daughter to make, who then taught my mother, who then taught me. And although this recipe produces delicious cookies every time, pepparkakor will always taste best to me when eaten frozen out of a tin at my grandparent’s house.

Pepparkakor Cookies

Pepparkakor Cookies

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Jenna Weber of Eat, Live, Run shares a Swedish recipe for pepparkakor cookies that was passed down from her great-grandmother. Jenna shares a story about these cookies in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp water
  • 1 ½ heaping cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar then add the egg, vanilla, maple syrup and water and beat until combined.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and salt. Add to wet ingredients to form a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2-4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/8th thick and cut with star shaped cookie cutters.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes. Pepperkakor should be a very thin, crispy and spicy cookie.

Yield: 4 dozen small cookies


Jenna Weber, food blogger for PBS Food's Fresh Tastes blogJenna Weber is half of the Fresh Tastes blog team. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and, since then, has worked as a pastry chef, bread baker and freelance food editor. Currently, Jenna blogs full-time on EatLiveRun.com where her delicious daily recipes and quirky culinary musings appeal to thousands. She lives in Northern California and, when not in the kitchen, can usually be found on her yoga mat.