For my birthday last year, Sara, my dear friend from Sweden, whom I met in Okinawa, Japan, and who is now living in Washington state, gave me the recipe for these cookies named Pepparkakor. In the package she included a bottle of Ljus Sirap (or light syrup) and a packet of Bikarbonat Natron. The finished cookies are spicy, sweet, and oh, so yummy!
The light syrup the recipe calls for is a Swedish syrup called Ljus Sirap. The bottle Sara sent me is made by the company, Dan Sukker. It's a syrup made from sugar beets rather than corn. The bikarbonate called for in the recipe is bikarbonate natron by Santa Maria. Both Swedish products should be available at an IKEA store.
Bake at 350-degrees for 8-10 minutes.
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. light syrup
1/3 c. water.
150 grams butter (room temperature -about 1-1/2 sticks)
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp, ground cardamom
1 Tbs. ground cloves
1 Tbs. ground ginger
1-1/2 tsp. bikarbonate
3-1/3 c. flour
On stovetop, simmer together sugar, syrup, and water. Mix butter and spices and add to the pot. Let this cool without mixing and stirring.
Mix bikarbonate with flour. After the first part has cooled, mix it with the flour mixture, Add that extra 1/3 cup flour if it feels too runny.
Place in fridge overnight. Roll out THIN dough and cut out cookies. Add a peeled almond on top of each cut out. Sara said she likes to make pigs. I didn't have pig cutouts, but I think the hearts and stars are very pretty!
How to peel almonds: Place them in a small pot of boiling water for a second while stirring. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 3 minutes. Drain almonds and put them on a cloth towel. Rub them with cloth and the skins pop right off. (Note: I accidentally found out that if you squeeze the almonds with your fingers you can shoot the insides across the room!)
The cookies were soft the first day and then, on the second day, they became delightfully crisp with a more pronounced spice taste. De-lic-ious!