Pepparkakor

Pepparkakor-headerSUMMARY – With warm spices and a surprise ingredient, ground black pepper, this exotic cookie is a tasty, upscale and Scandinavian interpretation of gingersnaps.

Here is another cookie, like the Kourambiethes, that (a) I have never had, and (b) would never think of making. Why would I when my friends and family have their favorites, like chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal or Italian cookies?

But if I get a request for gingersnaps, I will make these instead. They have the spicyness of a good gingersnap, plus the kick of the pepper to make them extra snappy.

I started this project around 9 p.m. Saturday night. Good thing I read the recipe and realized the dough needed an overnight rest in the freezer! Or else I would be baking on Monday and frantically writing about it so I didn’t miss the deadline!

grinding-clovesTo start, I broke out the spice grinder for the pepper and cloves. I didn’t want to stand over a bowl with my battery-operated pepper grinder and wait, and burn out the batteries. And I didn’t have ground cloves, but I had whole cloves for pickle-making.

The kitchen smelled pretty good post-grinding!dry-ingredients

Weighed the dry ingredients out and poured on the ground spices. I used ground ginger from Grenada. One of my coworkers took a cruise down there and brought back a spice box as a gift. The ginger still had some zing to it.

I creamed the butter, sugar and molasses. I added the dry ingredients starting with stirring manually with the paddle. I put it back on, and finished stirring.

The dough came out good, but not exactly the texture of frosting. More like the texture and smell of a molasses cookie.

dough-coolingI used regular molasses, because I still had the jar from the molasses cakelettes when I couldn’t find light molasses.

I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. And then proceeded to pull the cardboard rolls out of the two rolls of paper towels currently in “use” around the house. I wonder how annoyed everyone (including myself) will be when the roll is near the end? I think I’ll make it a surprise. Aren’t I a wonderful roommate?

unstuffed-doughAnyway, after the rest in the fridge I divided up the dough and got ready to wrestle with plastic wrap. My dough, at least, probably because of the darker molasses, reminded me of … well, you will get the idea.

I got over my 4 year old giggling self and started stuffing wrapped dough into the purloined paper towel cardboard. I used the end of my big whisk to squish it in. Which worked. I put the packed rolls in the freezer and went to bed.

sliced-dough Sunday morning, I was up at  6 a.m., bringing my roommate to work. He works at the mart that doesn’t begin with K. AKA Wally-world. And the bus that goes down there doesn’t run on Sundays or holidays. If it’s a Sunday or holiday, there’s a good chance I am up earlier than I am during the week. So it’s a good time to bake!

My slices weren’t the most round slices. I think if I make a sliced dough cookie again, I’ll use the paper towel roll trick. It really worked. Plus I don’t have to buy PVC pipe to do this. I have this aversion to vinyl from my days working at an environmental nonprofit. (Don’t start in about vinyl Aimee!)

I also didn’t grease the pan, because I didn’t want to have burnt sugar crystals from the sugar sprinkles. I used my nonstick “paper”. It is a lot easier to wash than a pan. And the crystals don’t stick to it.

These smelled really good when I opened the oven to spin the pan. Like Christmas at my hypothetical Swedish grandmother’s house.

finished-cookies-cooling

Here they are! The ones I sliced a little thinner were on the overdone side. I ate those to hide the evidence. They were good. I ate one warm. Of course a warm cookie is the best! I ate one cooled. Still good, with just a hint of softness. I ate one or two cooled. Crunchy with a tiny bit of softness. Really good with coffee. I didn’t dip them in the coffee but that would be really good too. Like adult graham crackers and milk.

And a back heat. Not bad! But I am glad I used a mix of black and white peppercorns. I didn’t want to go full-pepper monty on everyone.

Like the description in the recipe says, these would be good with goat cheese. I think they would be even better sandwiching cream cheese and honey.

cookies-plated

I was even inspired to do a real bit of plating for a Pinterest-worthy picture! A little NSFW food porn; don’t share it with your coworkers/family/friends as they may want to try these little spicy cookie gems.

plated-cookies-napkinHoney cake next week. Happy Rosh Hashana!


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

8 comments

  1. I didn’t use all that plc or paper towel too. But yours look round to me. Mine is really out of shape..lol! These cookies are delicious..I agree! Happy Rosh Hashanah!

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