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Discover The Origin Of Pepparkakor Cookies


These thin gingery cookies are a family tradition in my house. They are delightfully old fashioned and Swedish, and have a very distinct taste from the addition of maple syrup (or, in some recipes dark corn syrup).

Pepparkakor Cookies are traditionally cut out in the shape of stars and, unlike typical gingerbread cookies, don't contain any molasses. They remind me of visiting my grandparent's house at Christmastime and opening tins of tissue paper wrapped cookies kept fresh in the freezer.

They are the cookies my great-grandmother made, and the ones she taught her daughter to make, who then taught my mother, who then taught me. And although this recipe produces delicious cookies every time, pepparkakor will always taste best to me when eaten frozen out of a tin at my grandparent's house.

This recipe was originally posted on PBS Food.

Pepparkakor Cookies


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1 1/2 heaping cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Cream together the butter and sugar then add the egg, vanilla, maple syrup and water and beat until combined.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and salt. Add to wet ingredients to form a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2-4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness and cut with star shaped cookie cutters. Bake for 7 minutes. Pepperkakor should be a very thin, crispy and spicy cookie.

This recipe was originally posted on PBS Food.

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