If Christmas were a biscuit, it would most certainly be Pepparkakor, a Swedish biscuit. It’s fragrant, spicy, warming, sweet and you can’t stop eating them! It’s the essence of Christmas in one bite.
Ever since I met my Norwegian sister-in-law, K., I have learnt so much about Nordic dishes, traditions and baking. She is an incredible baker and introduced me to those Christmas biscuits and many other Christmas delicacies like rice pudding, and the best cake of all: Kransekake, almond ring Cake. K. once made it back home in Norway and brought Kransekake back in boxes in her suitcase on the plane, ready to be assembled at Christmas. It was out of this world. I would never attempt to make Kransekake, but Pepparkakor is well within my baking abilities (and yours!).
The recipe for these biscuits comes from the most incredible Christmas cookbook ever: ‘ScandiKitchen Christmas. Recipes and traditions from Scandinavia’ written by Brontë Aurell. I had a pleasure to meet Bronte back in 2019, while K. and I were shopping at Brontë’s shop in Great Titchfield Street in London (the shop is also online, see scandikitchen.co.uk). Her recipes are so inspiring and she’s written many books about Scandinavian cuisine.
This Christmas biscuit is really easy to make, but bear in mind that the dough requires an overnight rest in the fridge (at least 12 hours), so allow extra time for this.
Pepparkakor Christmas biscuit recipe
- 550 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 pinch ground all spice
- 1 pinch salt
- 150 g butter – room temp
- 200 g golden syrup
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g dark brown sugar
- 150 ml double cream
How to make them
- Mix the flour and bicarbonate of/baking soda with the dry spices and salt.
- Add the butter and all the other ingredients and mix until you have an even dough. Shape into a log and wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator overnight (min. 12 hours) before using.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
- Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured work surface and use cookie cutters to cut your desired shapes. You want the biscuits/cookies to be thin.
- Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 5–6 minutes or until the biscuits turn a darker shade of brown.
- This is a lot of dough, so you may need to bake the biscuits in batches (or you can freeze part of the dough for next time you wish to whip up a few trays).
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Decorate with icing (or not).
Happy baking and Merry Christmas!
See our other recipes here.