Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pepperkakor from Sweden, St. Lucia's Day

These cookies, that smell heavenly when they are baking, were originally Christmas cookies but are now eaten year-round. That explains why I first tasted one that a Swedish classmate gave me in the month of February.
On December 9th, December 13th, and on Christmas they are eaten the most. December 9th is Pepparkakor Day, whereas December 13th is St. Lucia's Day. 
The eve before St. Lucia's Day used to be Christmas, as well as the longest night of the year according to the Julian calendar. 
Gingerbread first arrived in Sweden from Germany in the 1400's. Originally, the dough contained pepper and was useful for curing many ailments. These biscuits used to be sold in pharmacies and were believed to cure indigestion and depression. 

Recipe from

50 grams brown sugar
50 grams white sugar
50 grams molasses 
3 tablespoons water
2.5 ounces butter
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 ounces flour
Some of the traditional shapes to cut are gingerbread people, stars, and hearts. 
 Heat both sugars, molasses, and water. Add butter and melt it, then remove from the heat. Stir it, then add the spices, baking soda, and flour. Roll out thin and cut into shapes, such as hearts. Poke a hole off center with a lollipop stick or straw. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.


My gingerbread house for 2012

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