Pepparkakor is a traditional Sweden gingerbread or a soft cookie that is a staple sweet dish during Christmas celebrations. The dish is popularly known as "ginger thins" or "gingernuts" in the UK and surrounding areas. Also known as gingersnaps and gingerbreads, these cookies are extremely thin and fragile. Although mostly round-shaped, the gingersnaps can also be engraved into different shapes of small men, women, pigs or even hearts. Further, they are also decorated with the help of colorful frosting and other edible decoratives. Gingersnaps are consumed throughout the year and customarily not prepared at home.
Origin of Pepparkakor
The origin of Pepparkakor goes back to 1800 BC when people living in Mesopotamia consumed gingerbread. It also proved very useful for Roman soldiers as these breads were not mouldy and could remain well for a longer time period. Apart from this, monarch of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, King Hans also ate this dish over for the first time to improve mental well being. Nuns at Vadstena also trusted this cookie to improve their digestion.
Ingredients Used For Making Pepparkakor
Pepparkakor recipe suggests use of simple ingredients that include brown sugar, white sugar, dark corn syrup, water, butter, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, baking soda and flour. Apart from all these, a few other ingredients such as frosting, sweet candies, nuts and other dried fruits can also be utilized to decorate soft cookies. Fun and interesting cookie cutters are usually used make fun shaped dish. Circle and diamond cookie cutters are most commonly used in Scandinavia.
Pepparkakor Recipe Overview
The main process suggested by pepparkakor recipe is baking.The process starts with heating some of the ingredients such as brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup and water in a large size pot. After adding melted butter on the top of this hot mixture, it is blended with baking soda and spices. The dough is usually kept aside overnight after a little flour is sprinkled over it. This dough is then rolled to make thin cookies using a cookie cutter. The recipe ideally takes only 8 to 10 minutes to get ready once placed in the oven of 180 degrees Centigrade temperature.
Traditional Facts About Pepparkakor
According to Swedish tradition, pepparkakor is popularly known as a Wish Cookie. It is widely believed in Sweden that this dish can make wishes true. As per Swedish customs, this is usually placed in the palm before making a wish. Then, the person needs to tap the hand with a cookie inside using the other hand. Then, the Swedish tradition says that the wish might come true in case the cookie breaks into more than one piece.
Health and Nutritional Facts
Pepparkakor is a very nutritional dish that can be used to fight various health issues. The various spices used to make this dish are very helpful in curing indigestion. Further, papparkakor is also prescribed by many physicians to heal mental stress.