Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spicy Swedish Gingerbread

Last Christmas I decided that rather than purchasing presents for friends, baking them gifts was the way to go. The idea was a resounding success and I have been receiving requests from my beloved's colleagues for "that amazing gingerbread" ever since. In 2010, the trend continues and last night I threw together a batch of gingerbread cookies. This much loved recipe comes all the way from my dear friend in Sweden, whose baking talent never ceases to amaze. These cookies are spicy, a little chewy and, according to my beloved, are reminiscent of "the taste of Christmas" (whatever that is!). While this recipe is very straightforward, please note that the dough is best prepared 1-2 days in advance of baking. The wait is worth it, as it allows the spices to more strongly infuse the dough (not unlike how a curry improves in the fridge overnight). So here goes - "the taste of Christmas":
Spicy Swedish Gingerbread
Makes approximately 250 cookies 

300g butter
2 cups caster sugar
0.4 cup maple syrup
0.8 cup water
2 tbls ground ginger*
2 tbls ground cloves*
1 tbls ground cardamom*
2 tbls cinnamon*
1 tbls baking soda
6¾ cups flour (appox)
*I sometimes up these quantities slightly for an even spicier taste.
Cream butter, sugar and maple syrup.
Blend spices and baking soda into the butter mix.
Mix in water.
Add flour gradually, until mix becomes a smooth firm dough (believe it or not, you'll need around the specified 6¾ cups).
Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours (I refrigerated mine for 2 days).
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Cut dough into manageable sizes to make the rolling out process easier.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of approximately ½ cm (N.B. thicker dough will require a slightly longer cooking time) and cut shapes .
Place on a non-stick tray.
Bake for around 5 minutes (it's great if you have a number of trays, which you can use on a rotational basis throughout the baking process, as this recipe makes quite a few a lot of cookies!)
As you can see, I used a gingerbread man cutter, a star cutter and a circle cutter (below).
Oh no! How'd this one get in there? 
You'll end up with a veritable mountain of cookies by the end of the baking process.
Oh, and be sure to break a few cookies, which will then become "testers"!

No comments:

Post a Comment