DAY 3: Swedish Peppar KaKar (soft, mild gingerbread)
These are not your average gingerbread cookies. They are so much better! The traditional gingerbread flavors are all there, but there is only a little bit of molasses, which gives them a very mild flavor. Bake them for just a short time, and they are soft and wonderful.
These cookies are fun to make with these ninja cookie cutters. You can get fancy with the icing, but I usually just pipe a few details.
We also love to use our tiny gingerbread man and angel cookie cutters for these. They are only about 1 ½-inches tall. But be careful, they are very addictive. And when you can pop a whole cookie in your mouth in one shot, it is easy to talk yourself into “just one more.”
You could pipe an icing around the edges or to make faces on these as well, but they are great just on their own. We end up with enough other cookies filled or topped with frosting that it is nice to have a less sweet, but super flavorful “plain” cookie.
My 2009 gingerbread helpers! I wish I could still get them to cooperate like this in the kitchen.
Swedish Peppar KaKar
(soft, mild gingerbread cookies)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp molasses
Combine dry ingredients; set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend in egg and molasses. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Add a little bit more flour (up to 1/4 cup), if necessary, to get a dough that is soft, but not sticky.
Chill dough for 1 hour. Roll to about 1/8” and cut into small gingerbread men and angels (or ninja-bread men).
Bake at 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes for small shapes (8-9 minutes for larger cookies). Don’t overbake, or they will become crispy instead of soft. Cool.
Decorate with Royal Icing, if desired.
Makes about 60 mini gingerbread men or 30 ninja-bread men.
2 Tbs meringue powder
scant 1/4 cup water
½ lb powdered sugar
½ tsp light corn syrup
Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)
Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.
To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.
NOTE: This makes “stiff” icing which is perfect for piping details. If you want to flood (totally frost) your cookies first, double the recipe above. Reserve some stiff icing to outline and pipe details. To fill in your cookies, first tint the remaining icing with food coloring.Then add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. Outline the cookies first with stiff icing, then flood the center with the thinner icing. Wait several hours until icing has completely hardened before piping on additional details over the flooded icing.
(Royal Icing from Bake at 350)