Christmas Recap and Pepparkakor (Ultimate Christmas Cookie)

Hello! Happy Boxing Day! Hope you all had happy Christmases and are continuing to enjoy some time with loved ones as we await the new year.  We had a nice little celebration at home here with just the two of us (well, and Sacre Claus, as we’ve taken to calling him now) – our second year of doing so!

Our big dinner was on Christmas Eve – I made a sauteed chicken breast for Matt, and some pan-friend tofu in barbecue sauce for me.  On the side we had garlic mashed baby red potatoes, roasted asparagus, and fresh rolls with butter.  And of course, being Christmas, you have to have a little bit of wine!

We kept Christmas presents pretty low-key this year.  I was pretty proud of my hand-made Christmas Coupons that I gave to Matt in his stocking.  He can redeem them throughout the year for things like board games, batches of dessert and brewery tours.  That free trial of photoshop I downloaded a couple weeks ago definitely came in handy for that!

And, as any Scandinavian will tell you, it’s not Christmas until the Pepparkakor arrives – so on Saturday afternoon I set about making the dough so we’d have some delicious cookies to eat for the holiday!  Gathering all the ingredients was a bit of a hassle… I had to make an extra trip out to the store on Christmas Eve for additional molasses – and we all know how much fun the grocery store is on Christmas Eve…

I use a recipe that’s probably been made hundreds of times by my family.  Because these cookies are a bit time intensive, it wasn’t until Christmas morning that we actually rolled some out and baked ’em up! Though they usually get cut into more traditional shapes, but I felt that utilizing a Christmas present Matt received last year was completely appropriate.

We had our little gingery Yoda heads with some ice cream last night, and again with our coffee and tea this morning.  The perfect Christmas-y treat!

Want to make your own Pepparkakor? Here’s the recipe that we use – tried and true! I’m sure this adapted from some old Swedish cookbook or something, so no copyright infringement intended!

Christmas Pepparkakor

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 Tbs baking soda
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 5 cups flour, divided

Instructions:

In a small sauce pan, heat the molasses, brown sugar, and spices to boiling while stirring regularly.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda – make sure you keep stirring because it will puff up and boil over otherwise!

When molasses mixture has settled, pour into a large bowl containing the butter.  The butter should melt from the heat!

Add in egg and mix well.  Add cups of flour one at a time (until you’ve added four cups) and mix like crazy – you may have to use your hands towards the end!

Turn out onto a heavily floured surface and continue kneading by hand until you have a big mound of dough.  Roll into a large log and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (you can chill it overnight if you really want to, but I find it usually gets to hard/cold if I do that).

When done chilling, use a rolling pin to roll the dough on a heavily floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. These cookies are really thin – we’re not going for thick sugar cookies here!

Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes, and bake for 8-10 minutes in a 325-degree oven. Let cool on a cookie rack (this is important! If you let them cool on the cookie sheets they’ll over-bake).

Enjoy! These are best with your hot holiday drink of choice – especially coffee or hot cocoa!

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About Becca

Wife. Runner. Baker. Pretzel-maker. Hey, that rhymes!
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