Monday, October 12, 2009

Swedish Gingerbread Cookies (Pepparkakor)

So somehow I ended up agreeing to do the wedding cake of Joe's manager. I'm not sure how it happened, but I've been told that I offered willingly!

She was having an autumn-themed wedding so we settled on gingerbread cookies and lemon cookies for the main body of the cake, and a small gingerbread cake on top for ceremonial cutting.

This led to about 6 prototypes of gingerbread cookie, trying to get the texture that we were looking for. We needed the cookie to be crispy, so it would survive being out in the air all day and also keep the shape of the cookie-cutters.

This was the winning ginger-cookie recipe. I will also post the others as they were all lovely, but just not suited to what we needed the wedding cookies to do.

You need to make the dough the evening before as it needs to be very chilled to be able to roll it out as thin as it needs to be. I separated the dough into 4, and wrapped each log of dough in clingfilm to make it easier to roll out the next day.

This recipe makes about 60 thin cookies, using a medium cookie cutter.


300g butter, softened
250g caster sugar
150g soft brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp grated lemon rind
300ml golden syrup
300ml double cream
1100g plain white flour
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb of soda

Sift the spices and the baking soda into a small bowl.

In another larger mixing bowl, mix butter with the two sugars.

Add the spice mixture and the egg.

Add the lemon rind, golden syrup, cream and finally flour. The dough will be fairly sticky – don’t worry as it will solidify a lot in the fridge. Refridgerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

The next day, preheat your oven to 180C.

Take out one log of dough at a time and roll to about 1/2 cm thickness and cut the cookies with whatever cutters you have. The dough becomes very sticky again quite quickly, so you need to work quickly. Make sure to flour your worktop and cutters well. Don't worry about the excess flour on the bottom of the cookies, this is easily brushed off when they are baked.

Bake the cookies for 8- 10 minutes. You want them to be a rich golden colour when they're done.

Cool on a wire rack. The cookies keep for about 3 weeks in an airtight container.

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