Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Traditional Swedish Christmas Cookie Recipe: Pepparkakor

Do you love Ikea as much as I do?

For me, the cheap, cute, easy to put together furniture and "stuff" is just part of the fun. Every time I go to Ikea, I feel in a small way, like I am back home at Fackelbararnas Bibelskola (Torchbearers Bible School) in Holsby Brunn, Smaland, Sweden.

Christmas at Ikea is especially wonderful.

I'm from Portland, Oregon where snow is rare, even at Christmas. But the one winter I spent in Sweden was like a picture postcard for Christmas. Clear, bright blue skies, hills covered in snowy evergreen trees, and stores filled with gnomes, dala horses, straw stars for your Christmas tree, and of course, pepparkakor.

Right now, my Ikea is filled with the same things!

Not that the store-bought cookies are even remotely as good as Aina's homemade pepparkakar--thin, crisp, sweet and spicy, melt in your mouth ginger cookies that inspired more than one midnight raid on the kitchen. (But I'm not naming names!)

This winter I've been re-living Christmastime in Sweden as I work on Dark and Stormy: A Tillgiven Romantic Mystery. And I bet you can guess what that makes me want...

Aina's Pepperkakor!

Since I can't share a plate of cookies with you over a cup of tea (a delightful tradition called Fika in Sweden) I will share her recipe--straight from my Bible school scrap book! (But with American measurement conversions in parenthesis.)


300g Margarine (1 1/3 C)
300g Corn Syrup (scant 1 C)
300g Sugar (1 1/2 C)
1 T Cinnamon
1 T Cloves
1/2 T Ginger
1 1/2 T Baking Soda
3dl Water (1 1/4 C)
900g  Flour (9 C)

(It's a big batch, since this is the recipe she used to feed the whole school!)

Heat Sugar, margarine and Syrup carefully and stir until smooth.
Add spices and stir it cold.
Stir the soda in water and add it to mixture.
Work in the flour. (Save some for the dough rolling.)
Let the dough sit overnight in the fridge.
Roll out very thin and cut with shaped cookie cutters.

Serve with hot coffee and enjoy a little taste of Christmas in Sweden!

For a first serving of life at the (fictional) Tillgiven Bibelskola, check out Hard to Find: A Tillgiven Romantic Mystery!


  1. My mouth is watering for one of these - wish I had time to make some! Maybe next year. Thanks Traci!

    ~Nancy Jill

  2. Thanks! I wish you could. They are lovely with tea. :) I may have to bring some to Dallas!

  3. What beautiful cookies, and I'll bet they smell wonderful. Merry Christmas!

    1. They DO smell wonderful! I'm probably not going to make any this year, but I remember them very fondly. (I'll just buy them from ikea, lol) Merry Christmas, Beth!

  4. Traci - can't wait!! I'll try and get your class. Maybe Cindy Hickey's too!
    Merry Christmas!

    ~Nancy Jill

  5. Sadly, we're teaching at the same time! You'll have to pick one or the other...or one of the other five classes! It's an embarrassment of riches. :)