In Norway from December 1-31 pepperkaker is everywhere. Pepperkaker and gløgg to be more precise. When you go buy a Christmas tree there is a table with free pepperkaker and gløgg. When you go into shops there is a little bowl of pepperkaker by the door. When you go to see Nøtteknekkeren at the opera (and you must!) they have pint sized ballerinas handing it out at intermission. It wouldn’t be Christmas in Norway without pepperkaker. Most people make their own AND buy store bought. That’s because most of the recipes are not very good. Rolling out and stamping the cookies with kids is a tradition that everyone does. The kids even do it at school. I have never seen such adept bakers in my life as Norwegian toddlers rolling out and stamping their own gingerbread cookies. However, for the dough to be so workable by little hands it is often a bit tough and slightly too thick. So people usually buy the pepperkaker they want to eat. I now present you with the most delicious and totally workable recipe for pepperkaker! This dough rolls out beautifully, and it tastes amazing! The key is to get it thin enough and not burn it. Pepperkaker should have a snap to it.
Note: I don’t recommend this recipe for making gingerbread houses, it is a bit too soft to hold up for very long.
A note on substitutions: If you substitute honey for the corn syrup it makes the cookies softer. If you substitute gluten free flour these are easier to roll out but they are also softer. I have not found a butter substitute that is sufficient to make these completely dairy free, but you can replace the cream with soy milk without too much trouble.
Makes: about 40 4inch gingerbread men
Equipment: cookie cutters
10m - small cookies
12-14m - large cookies
Special Equipment: Kitchen scale
Written by Anne Beaubien