"". content='3d4620b7bc91f474c9424106dd2800b5' name='p:domain_verify'/> Room RX: Gim's Swedish Pepparkakor

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gim's Swedish Pepparkakor

My Grandmother Gim, was the daughter of Swedish immigrants. My brother and I adored her and as her only grandchildren, who she lived halfway across the country from, she spoiled us rotten. One of my favorite treats were her Swedish spice cookies or Pepparkakor.  Traditionally these cookies were served during the holidays and cut in classic shapes, but Gim knew how much we loved them and would make them when-ever we visited, cutting them into hearts at Valentines Day, hens and chicks at Easter or just the traditional 8 petaled flower.

 The cookie is thin and crispy and was a labor of love for Gim, especially as she got older and her hands were riddled with arthritis. They must be rolled quite thin and at first the dough is very stiff. What I love about Pepparkakor is that they are simple, not decorated, not an overtly sweet nor heavy cookie, perfect for a quick sweet with a cup of coffee or glass of milk. The tradition of baking the Pepparkakor each Christmas is now carried on by me and I know my kids enjoy the cookies as much as I do. The other night as I was making them, even though there were projects to be finished and tests to study for, the kids were hanging out in the kitchen helping me roll and cut and sneaking bits of dough...

If you have shopped at Ikea, no doubt you have seen and maybe even purchased a tin of Pepperkakor cookies, but to me these don't hold a candle to Gim's tasty, homemade version, so today I am sharing her recipe with you.

(Dancing across the linen runner are little jultomte  or Swedish "elves" associated with Christmas.)

Here is her recipe, in her words, lovingly shared with me forever ago, by my Mom:

Gim's Swedish Pepparkakor
1/2 C unsalted butter
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/2 C dark Karo syrup
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cinnamon

Boil sugar, syrup, butter and spices. Let cool - beat in egg yolk and 1/2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water.  Add enough flour to make stiff for rolling (2 1/4 - 2 1/2 C)
Roll out VERY thin and cut with Christmas cutters.
Line baking sheets with foil and bake on 3rd shelf at  
350 degrees - 5 minutes or so, until golden.
Watch carefully.

I hope you'll give these special cookies a try and that you enjoy them as much as I do. Do let me know.  Gim's recipe for Swedish meatballs is a keeper too, I shared it here last year.

Just for fun, I thought I would share a picture from years back of Gim and I....
She was a special and talented lady who taught me many things, but those are stories for another time.

I am signing off for a few days to enjoy the fruits of my labors and the festivities of the season with both family and friends.  I wish all of you a wonderful holiday. Thanks for stopping by Room Rx and sharing your time with me, it is a wonderful gift!

God Jul!
(Swedish for Merry Christmas)

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Jesse said...

Merry Christmas, Wall family <3

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

merry christmas, cathy! i love all the swedish christmas cookies and inspiration! my nana was swedish and i just adore all things swedish! :)

Lisa - A Room with A View said...

These look like the turned out perfectly and sound delicious. I will be sure to try them. Thanks for sharing a great family tradition, Cathy, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Annie Pazoo said...

What a great post, Cathy! So many similarities with Norwegian American Christmas traditions too. God jul!

elizabeth@themustardceiling said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family Cathy. Enjoy the holidays, I will have to try your grandmother's recipe. Thank you for sharing.

Holly said...

Thanks for sharing your tradition with us Cathy - that is certainly very special and something that your kids are already familiar with. Enjoy all of your time off Cathy and thanks for all of your inspiration you bring to us. Merry Christmas!

Jenn said...

I love this post ... thanks for sharing the story behind these cookies. It's so special! And, merry christmas! :)

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

I loved hearing about your "Gim". Holidays are indeed a time for remembering those we love :)
Hope your Christmas was a merry one!

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

yum! i'll be trying these.

Anneke at This, That and Life said...

These would be so fun for our kids ~ thanks so much for linking this recipe to Miss Flibbertigibbet's!

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