Mormor’s Pepparkakor means “Grandmother’s Gingerbread Cookies” in Swedish.
Every year, depending on where we were (in the UK or Sweden for Christmas), my family will make these without fail. There’s something incredibly comforting about making gingerbread cookies together. Even now, we still use the same cookie cutters we had 20 years ago. SO many of them are now broken but that’s part of the fun. I’m not going to lie, it is very awkward trying to hold broken bits of metal into what should look like a reindeer!
People always ask me what’s different about Swedish gingerbread cookies. So, to answer your question, Pepparkakor are much thinner than the gingerbread cookies we get here in the UK. I suppose you could say they’re slightly “spicier” and more intense in flavour. In general, far less “biscuity” and far more ginger snap (if that makes any sense).
[Makes about 40 – 50 depending on the shapes/sizes of cutters you have]
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg, beaten
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved into 1 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the molasses and egg, then continue to stir in the remaining ingredients until well blended.
Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 4 hours (you can get your raisins and icing ready in this time).
After 4 hours, turn on your oven to approximately 180 degrees. Pre-heat.
Roll out the dough onto a floured surface until it is about the thickness of a £1 piece (50p is better if you can do it but you need a really floured surface for this so they don’t stick and tear as you lift them off).
Basically, if you’ve made gingerbread before, they need to be half the thickness of what you are used to making.
Cut the dough into shapes with the cookie cutters of your choice (Christmas themed cutters are always better at this time of year) and place your pepparkakor on some grease proof paper (no need to pre-grease it).
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown (very, very slightly).
Cool on a rack or eat warm! They will go harder as they cool down, so watch them carefully in the oven after about 5 minutes so that you don’t over bake them. The correct texture should be that they “snap” when you break them in two, rather than crumble like a biscuit.
Store them in an airtight container and you’re good to go!