It’s just a few days until Christmas, and I’ve got a jones for pepparkakor!
Pepparkakor are very thin, crisp cookies, redolent with spices. They are ubiquitous in Sweden at this time of year.
I have it on very good authority that my mom has already made the pepparkakor for this Christmas . . .
Here is a recipe that bears some resemblance to my grandmother’s recipe, which is the one my mom uses. My grandmother’s recipe calls for 10 cups of flour and makes maybe 1000 cookies (the dough is rolled paper thin), so my mom always cuts the recipe in half. Wise woman.
When I was a child, the making of the pepparkakor was a Very Big Deal indeed. Out would come all the Christmas cookie cutters and my brother and I would fight over which ones would get used. There were certain ones that were always used (my favorite was the lamb — predisposed to all things sheepy, I guess). My mom would painstakingly roll out the dough, cut the cookies, and put them in the oven. I’d time them and take them out and put them on racks to cool, and my brother stacked the cooled cookies in tins and kept a running total of how many of each shape cookie we had made. “We need more Santas!” “We need more reindeer!”
When my brother and I reached teen years he, not surprisingly, lost interest in baking cookies, so my mom and I would make them alone. It would take most of a day, and by the end of it we would be nearly hysterical. My father, wise man that he is, learned that to venture into the kitchen on Pepparkakor Day meant there was a very good chance he’d end up being pelted with raw cookie dough.
I finished the sleeve and am currently knitting the shoulder strap to the body. See this mess?
It’s Fulmar in progress. Yep. Very awkward to work on with the entire sweater flopping all over the place. Arrrgh! But it’ll be done soon.
And of course, Izzy stands guard over it, as per usual.