Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 16, 2008: Pepparkakor

Michael returned home from Sweden with more than just a bunch of statistical models - he also brought chocolate and this little fella, a moose-shaped biscuit cutter with an accompanying recipe in Swedish and English. Noticing that the spiced biscuit recipe was eggless and could easily be made vegan, I saved it up for a picnic Michael was organising.

When it comes to baking biscuits, I tend to go for recipes that involve just blobbing batter onto a tray. Flouring, rolling and cutting can leave me a bit frazzled, and I certainly did my fair share of swearing at these! While the mixture was quite pliable and easily rolled, it was harder to shift these large yet delicate shapes from bench to tray without rendering them much less moose-shaped. The eye cut-outs left very little dough to support the antlers. Some crazed flour-scattering seemed to help, and my last couple trays of these didn't look too bad.

The biscuits require very little time in the oven, and ours ended up with at firm crust and moist, somewhat chewy interior. The overwhelming impression, though, is of cardamom! With a full tablespoon of the stuff going in, you're hard pressed to detect the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or anything else much at all. It makes for a slightly one-dimensional experience, and I couldn't help thinking that their dry spiciness might be more enjoyable with a scoop of vanilla icecream.

What's left me completely flummoxed, now that I'm writing about these biscuits, is where I put the recipe! Michael and I have searched our flat up and down for that little white square of paper to no avail. Perhaps it will show itself this week, in the frenzied lead-up to our rental inspection on Friday - if it does I'll post it here. Otherwise, there are many other recipes for pepparkakor on the internet, though none of the ones I've seen have quite the same ingredient list.

Edit 04/04/09: Somehow the recipe reappeared last night, on our coffee table, in between pieces of brand new mail. It was eery, but cool. Looking at the recipe now, I'm pretty sure I halved the quantities below and still had lots and lots of pepparkakor to share around.


300g smör
5 dl socker
1 dl ljus sirap
2 msk kanel
1 msk malda kryddnejlikor
1 msk malen ingefära
1 msk bikarbonat
2 tsk kardemumma
2 dl vatten
1,5 l vetemjöl

Rör ihop rumstenpererat smör, socker och sirap till en jämn smet. Tillsätt sedan kanel, kryddnejlikor, ingefära, bikarbonat och kardemumma. Därefter tillsättes vatten och sist mjölet som knådas in på bakbord. Låt degen ligga i kylskåp minst 1 dygn. Tag ut kakor med din form och lägg på kalla smorda plåtar eller med bakplåtspapper. Grädda i mitten av ugnen i 200-225 grader i 4-5 minuter.

Swedish Ginger Biscuits

300g butter (I used nuttelex)
400g castor sugar
6 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons cardamom
200mL water
900g flour

Cream the butter, add castor sugar and syrup and beat in the flavouring - cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, cardamom - and the bicarbonate of soda. Add the water and work in the flour and knead well on a lightly floured surface. Put the dough into the fridge and let rest for at least 24 hours. Roll out the dough thin and cut out biscuits with your mould and put them on a cold buttered baking sheet or on a baking sheet lined with paper. Bake in the middle of the oven at 200-225°C for 4-5 minutes.


  1. That's the cutest friggin' thing ever! His moose nose is so cute I want to smash it.

    Thanks for adding me to your super-list of Melbourne food blogs!

  2. oh no! i was going to ask you for the recipe. it sounds very scandanavian with all those spices - like something you'd find in the food section at th eend of ikea!

  3. thanks for the recipe tip - I've been looking for a new biscuit idea (though definitely in a simpler shape!)

    Good luck with the rental inspection - we've got one soon, too :-(


  4. Arrrrgh so CUTE! Whilst I appreciate that they may leave the antlers unsupported, the cut out eyes are the master touch. :)

  5. I love how well they've turned out - very adorable moose indeed!

  6. Oh, Moose!!!

    Or is it an elk? You know those Swedes and their elks.

  7. Thanks, y'all! No sign of the recipe yet. :-(

    Bunches, it's a moose if you're from North America, an elk if you're British, älg if you're Swedish, and species Alces alces if you're a finicky scientist. :-D

  8. The pepparkakor recipe has turned up, under the bizarrest of circumstances! I've appended it to the original post, in case any of you commenters want to try it. :-)