The Gingerbread is a Swedish Christmas tradition. The first people who baked those were the Bridgettine sisters in the Abbey of Vadstena in South Sweden in 14th Century. According to the legend the nuns gave them symbols. For instance, the heart was a symbol of love and the angels symbolized the human beings goodness… 😀
In Swedish we name them pepparkakor and we just love our Swedish Gingerbreads. The special thing with the Swedish Gingerbread is that we also add bitter orange peel, cardamom and cloves along with the ginger and cinnamon, but just like every little favourite treat this delicious Gingerbread can occur in different flavours… and shapes…. yum! 😀
The Abbey of Vadstena!
Recipe (makes up to 150; depends on the size)
- 3 dl caster sugar
- ½ dl golden syrup
- 1 dl water
- 200 g unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon ground bitter orange peel
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon ground ginger
- ½ tablespoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 10 dl plain flour
Heat up the sugar, syrup and water in a saucepan.
Put the spices and butter in a bowl. Pour over the hot sugar mixture. Stir, now and then, until the butter is melted. Let the mixture cool.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the flour.
Work everything together until you get a smooth dough. Cover the dough with cling film. Let it rest in the fridge for about 24 hours.
Before you start baking out the dough. Let it be in room-temperature for about one hour.
Place a parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Roll out one piece of dough at a time. With help of cookie cutters cut out Gingerbread men/women, hearts etc.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet.
Bake them in the middle of the oven for about 5-6 minutes at 225 degrees C.
Be careful so you don’t burn the Gingerbreads.
Let them cool on a wire rack.
Finally, decorate them with icing!
Happy Swedish Delicious Gingerbreads “Pepparkakor” Baking! 😀