Swedish Pepparkakor

These thin ginger snaps are what holiday baking is all about. I visited Sweden when I was 16 so clearly, I’m an expert. I have The Culinary Chronicles to thank for this.

INGREDEINTS

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter
4 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp pepper
Pinch cayenne
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown soft sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together in bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and then let it brown. Swirl the pan frequently. Once brown, turn off the heat.

Measure out spices and toast them in a pan.

Whisk in all the spices and then add the brown sugar and molasses to the butter mixture. 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.

Pour this mixture into your bowl of flour and combine with a spatula until you have a dough – don’t over work it. Place dough between two sheets of parchment and roll out slight to a rectangle. Get it as thin as possible. This will save you time when rolling out. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 275 F when you are ready to bake. Take dough out of refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces. Let the first one sit out for about 15 minutes before rolling as thin as possible, 1mm, if you can do it! Return the other pieces to the refrigerator before rolling out. I rolled them between two pieces of parchment, in one direction and kept turning the dough/parchment. I don’t add flour and this makes it easier to ensure the rolling pin does not stick. Peel back the top layer of parchment when you have reached the desired thin-ness (not thickness 😉 ) and cut out cookies using whatever cutter you desire.

I left the cookies on the parchment and pulled back the excess dough, flattened the excess dough and put it back in the fridge. I left the cookies where they were (close together on the parchment) and then put them on a sheet and placed them in the freezer for 30 minutes until they firmed up. When hard, the cut cookies are easy to assemble on a lined baking sheet–1″ apart.

Bake for 10 minutes and then turn sheets to ensure even baking. I baked mine for two minutes more totaling 12 minutes. Let cool on rack.

Decorate with royal icing.

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