Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies) Recipe on Food52

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Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)

December 15, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Be sure to take generous scoops from the spice jars. (Sometimes, in order to get extra spicy, gingery flavor, I'll use an actual teaspoon as opposed to a measuring one.) Feel free to try different amounts to make the cookies to your own liking. —Taylor Rondestvedt

  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes about 120 small cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger (be generous)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice (if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to your liking)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together, then add egg, maple syrup, and water. Beat until fluffy.
  3. Mix in dry ingredients about 1/2 cup at a time slowly, so the dough doesn't get too stiff.
  4. Remove from the bowl and form a big ball. Separate into quarters and refrigerate, covered, for 2 to 6 hours.
  5. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F.
  6. Working with 1/4 of dough at a time, roll out the dough (I like to do this between plastic, but you can also use a floured surface), until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place them on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, but watch the first batch carefully! You want the cookies to get toasty and golden, not too dark.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • K.V.
    K.V.
  • Lee Uerkwitz
    Lee Uerkwitz
  • Miss_Karen
    Miss_Karen
  • Scheherazade
    Scheherazade
  • Courtney C
    Courtney C
Is never without a loaf of rye bread and currently stocks 5 different butters in her kitchen.

    16 Reviews

    Vittoria November 29, 2020
    We absolutely loved these!! Kid (3 and 6 year old) and adult approved. Flavour is incredibly addictive! They spread, so I will try chilling next time before baking. Kids decorated half the batch with royal icing.

    I also used einkorn flour. 136 g per cup of flour + 34 g = 476 g (used the AllRecipes website conversion as it was the first to come up when I googled it... but I just checked my other cookbooks here at home and note that Thomas Keller says 1 c all purpose flour is 140 g, might try this next time because dough was a bit soft and stuck a bit to the cookie cutters.) Rolling out between plastic wrap is key (tried wax paper first and it stuck).

    Also used only 1/4 tsp cayenne and added two cranks of fresh ground black pepper) Had just a hint of spice at end. Kids totally loved these and adults loved the extra hint of heat/spice. Would absolutely love to try the full amount someday!!

    Also loved the story that accompanied this recipe!! Thanks for sharing - it’s a keeper for sure!
     
    Author Comment
    Taylor R. December 10, 2020
    So glad to hear it! I'm literally about to make a triple batch to deliver around for our holiday cookie swap now. I have found that chilling the dough for a day or two (just having it on hand and baking it as needed is pretty common in our house these days!) makes the flavor really deep. Will add some pepper this time too... sounds great!
     
    Connie April 10, 2020
    I halfed the recipe. The batter turned out really crumbly, unknown if I didn't mix it correctly or what. First I sifted sugars, flour and spices together (all dry ingredients). So I was unable to roll it out. I just placed in balls on cookie sheet. They still turned out okay and they are spicey, which I like. If you don't like spicey, I'd cut out some cayenne. I enjoyed the recipe.
     
    K.V. March 9, 2020
    I made these because I love ginger cookies. They're good and I'm wondering if perhaps I did something wrong? I followed the instructions-including being generous with the ginger-yet I can't really detect it as I would've expected.
     
    J'Anne January 13, 2018
    Thank you! My husband loves Pepparkaktor, the spicier the better. We've hunted in stores for years. No product even comes close. We've tried different recipes most ending in disappointment. Then I cooked up a batch of yours and wow! He would have cartwheeled around the room if he wasn't 63 years old.
     
    sauteed December 14, 2017
    Thanks so much for the recipe. For those baking in the Southern Hemisphere... I had to cut these out straight onto the baking paper, as despite being cold from fridge they softened so quickly. PS... they are definitely like the Nyaker cookies, but it's hard to make them as thin. Cheers!
     
    Lee U. December 10, 2017
    Are these the same as the Nyaker ginger cookies that are very thin and come in the round tin at Cost Plus World Market?
     
    Miss_Karen November 27, 2017
    I substituted honey for the maple syrup. I also used white pepper instead of cayenne. These small changes worked just fine and they vanished before I could even get them all on the platter.
     
    Maureen November 25, 2016
    How much earlier can they be made for Christmas without freezing ?
     
    Scheherazade December 21, 2015
    Would it be ok to refrigerate the dough for a couple of days?
     
    Author Comment
    Taylor R. December 22, 2015
    sure! I've had some in my fridge for three days, and i've been making a batch or two at a time. I wouldn't go too long, but it seems to be alright!
     
    Mindy December 21, 2015
    Holy Mother of Cookies - I made this recipe last night and they are very spicy. I loved them! For some people who are sensitive to spices I wouldn't recommend adding even close to a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Delicious though, I had to stop after 6 cookies because my face was on fire.
     
    Author Comment
    Taylor R. December 21, 2015
    I'm so glad you enjoyed them- yes, I like them to have a bit of a bite!
     
    Courtney C. December 20, 2015
    These were amazing! Such a great spice combo. I scooped very generously as suggested and added a teaspoon of mace, which I had on hand. The cayenne adds a great burn - also, makes a ton of cookies.
     
    Author Comment
    Taylor R. December 21, 2015
    Ooo I've never tried adding mace, but I'll have to test it! The recipe does make lots (especially if you use a tiny cookie cutter) but they always seem to disappear fast.
     
    Courtney C. December 21, 2015
    Yes they do disappear fast! I love them - thanks again for the great recipe!