Pepparkakor

Total time: It’s hard to gauge because it was broken up in pieces. Probably about 2 hours of active time and 10 hours of chilling time.

Source: This random blog post I found, which referenced The Nordic Baking Book

Servings: About 75 cookies, though it depends on your cookie cutter size and how thinly you roll them, as well as how many times you’re willing to reroll the dough.

When I was a kid, my dad would drive to Santa Barbara around Christmas time because that was the closest Cost Plus, so that was the closest place for him to buy pepparkakor. That tin was a staple of Christmas time. I live much closer to a World Market now, so I’m pretty sure that I have purchased that tin every year since I moved here. I’ve tried making pepparkakor (to go along with the giant tin of it), and it’s always a bit disappointing. But I will keep trying until I find the perfect recipe.

However, this year, my desire to find the right recipe was a bit higher because I couldn’t really justify a trip to World Market just to get pepparkakor. In a normal year, I would take at least two World Market trips during the holiday season, but this isn’t a normal year, so I found myself at Christmas without any pepparkakor. My sister agrees that pepparkakor is an essential part of the holiday season but I just didn’t get around to it with all of Sean’s Christmas cookie-ing, so I decided to make it happen on New Year’s Eve.

This one was closer than previous recipes, but it wasn’t quite right. When they were fresh, I thought they were really good but could do with a bit more of the spices. The next day, however, they got a little chewy. I really want a gingersnap that snaps. Rolling it thinner might have helped. Icing the cookies might have also made me feel a bit better about the chew, and I didn’t ice them. I think the recipe has potential, so I’ll have to try to play with it more next year.

Oh, and because I’m always on a quest to minimize wasted dough and/or rerolling, I need to share my method. The first option is just to use the Christmas tree over and over, but if you want some variety in your cookies, using several cookie cutters at the same time and smushing them together (as pictured) works pretty well. I found myself much less likely to cut into an already-cut cookie or leave more space that I intended between cookies.

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