Pepparkakor - Gingerbread
The Gingerbread baking is done! Two of my darling grand children joined me and we baked as tradition stipulates: Lussekatter and gingerbread must be made by Lucia or Christmas will not come!
When the kids were little this was a busy time because they starred in a variety of Lucia and Christmas pageants. The iron and laundry machine were going full steam all December back then. Nowadays it is more quiet. Watching Lucia on TV is also beautiful but requires less prep and clean up after! But gingerbread and lussekatter are still a necessity!
I would like to offer you the recipe for my lovely gingerbread. I promise they make deliciously crisp and spicy cookies. This recipe has been in our family for many generations! The format is old fashioned too, calling for hg (hectograms) of this or that ingredient.. Just keep in mind that 1 hg = 100 g. It makes a big batch but the recipe halves easily.
12 hg flour
4 hg butter
4 hg treacle (I use a medium brown Swedish "sirap")
1 tbsp baking soda
4 tsp cloves
4 tsp ground ginger
5 tsp cinnamon
Melt the sugar, treacle and spices in a very large pot, get them quite hot. The sugar needs to melt properly.
Add the butter to the pan and melt it.
Let the mixture cool slightly, then add the eggs one by one.
Mix most of the flour ( about 10-11.5 hg) with the baking soda, the combine it into the sugar/butter mixture.
Knead the dough, it should be easy to handle. Add a little of the remaining flour if need be but save most of it for rolling out the dough.
Now let the dough rest in a cool place until the next day.
Roll out on a floured surface. I like to place a square of cling film over a piece of dough and then roll it out, this makes it easier to make nice, thin cookies. Use your favourite festive cookie cutter shape. We always make hearts, stars and pigs, and sometimes we throw in some other designs for fun. (The pig shape might hark back to our pagan past!)
Bake on middle rack at 200-225 C (392-437 F), for about 5 minutes (depends on your oven!)
Be careful because they burn very easily! Store in a tin in a dry place, they will keep quite a while!
I do hope you will enjoy this recipe! Good Luck and I hope you have a Merry Christmas!