Secret Swedish Pepparkakor Cookies

October  5, 2019
Author Notes

I make these every Christmas and every time I do, I thank my friend Eric for sharing it with me, but I am especially grateful to his Swedish great-gran Ellen who was an amazing baker and lived until she was 98. As Eric says, “From what I can tell, Swedish cookies and a gin martini every night before dinner were the keys to her longevity.” —mtrelaun

  • Prep time 24 hours
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes a bunch
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons each of ground cardamom, ground clove. ground ginger (so 6 tsp total)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
In This Recipe
  1. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars together.
  2. Add egg and beat until homogenous.
  3. Stir in corn syrup, water and orange zest.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and add them gradually into your butter/egg/etc goo stirring until things coalesce.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight (24 hrs is best, but these can still be made after 12.)
  6. The next day when you're reading to roll production, preheat oven to 350° F.
  7. On a lightly floured board, roll out dough so it is about 1/4" thick. Cut out your pepparkakors using a smallish, 2" in diameter cookie cutter. Any shape is fine so long as the cookie itself is petite. These should be 1-2 bite wonders, not more. As Eric’s great-gran said, “The store bought kind are like doorknobs. No. No. No. Don’t do it.”
  8. Bake for 10-15 mn. It is a fine line to burnt so watch them. When cool, they should be crispy, not chewy.

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