Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Recipe: Pepparkakor

This recipe for Swedish Pepparkakor (ginger snaps) comes from my grandmother. Christmas is not complete without pepparkakor, rice pudding, and some Bond Ost cheese.

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp (dark) corn syrup (or substitute ~3 tbsp brown sugar + ~1 tbsp water)
1 tbsp warm water
2 tbsp baking soda
3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves

1) cream butter (in mixer)
2) add sugar, egg, corn syrup
3) dissolve baking soda in water, add to mix
4) sift spices together with flour, add to mix
5) chill mix (1/2 - 1 hour in freezer)
6) put flour on table & rolling pin, roll mix until thin
7) cut shapes, place on greased cooking sheet
8) bake at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes

I have discovered some tips that help make it (in my opinion) better. For one, I don't cook them very long, so they're still slightly chewy. I also have a lot of trouble rolling them flat without sticking to the rolling pin (no matter how much flour I use), so I came up with this method.

1) Before chilling the dough (or after it thaws again), pack it into a cylindrical tube such as this Pampered Chef measuring cup:

2) Freeze the dough; once it's frozen, take it out and push up about 1/4" of dough. Then take a piece of thread (or unflavored, unwaxed dental floss) and use it to cut off the top of the dough. If it's frozen it'll keep its shape pretty nicely:

3) Bake on a stoneware plate. This one is also from Pampered Chef. Once it's warmed up it takes 6 minutes for each batch. This is what they look like when they go in:

4) This is what they look like when they're done, 6 minutes later:

5) Once they're out, put them immediately on a wire rack to cool. By the time the next batch is cooked, they've cooled and are ready to eat.

Mmmm.... peparkakor....

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