Cardamom Bread and Pepparkakor Cookies

Cardamom Bread and Pepparkakor Cookies

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I thought about titling this post, Man Found Dead with Cardamom Bread Recipe Stuffed in His Mouth. However, after considering the situation realistically for a moment, I realized that my grandparents probably wouldn't knock me off for sharing two of our secret Swedish holiday recipes. But, if I turn up missing, you know who to look for! :-)

Every year around the holidays, I look forward to these two tasty treats. I've eaten cardamom bread and papparkakor cookies during Christmastime for as long as I can remember. The smell of either of them baking immediately brings back warm memories for me. About 10 years ago, I asked my grandparents for these recipes, and they were kind enough to provide them. I'm posting both of them here so that others can enjoy their fantastic flavor.

Cardamom Bread

Here's the recipe that I use for cardamom bread. The original recipe is the version that I received from my grandparents. The modified recipe is my own conversion for use with a bread machine. I've made this recipe tens of times, and I'm always pleased with the results.

Original Recipe         Modified for Bread Machine
¾ cup milk   ½ cup milk
¼ cup butter   3 tablespoons butter
1 egg   1 egg
1/3 cup sugar   ¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt   ½ teaspoon salt
3 cups flour   2¼ cups flour (bread flour)
2 teaspoons yeast   1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1½ - 2 teaspoons cardamom   1½ teaspoons cardamom
(3 teaspoons if using powder)
  1. Microwave milk and butter for approximately 50 seconds
  2. Make dough using all ingredients (manually or with bread machine on "dough" mode)
  3. Divide into 3 rolled strips, cover with cloth, and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  4. Braid dough and top with light sugar coating (not included in above ingredients)
  5. Allow to rise for 40-50 minutes under plastic wrap
  6. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack

 Cardamom bread is good toasted or plain, buttered or not. If you're like me, you won't be able to limit yourself to just one or two slices. :-)

Pepparkakor Cookies

Done properly, pepparkakor cookies (a Swedish twist on ginger cookies) are relatively thin and crisp. Pepparkakor cookie dough is my favorite, with chocolate chip cookie dough coming in a close second (at least the Nestlé Toll House recipe). Yeah, I know...raw eggs, Salmonella, etc. Call me crazy, but kids and adults have been eating raw cookie dough since the dawn of time (okay...maybe not quite that long), and as far as I know, kids aren't keeling over in the kitchen. But hey, I'm no doctor, so proceed at your own risk.

1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons molasses (I prefer the “Dark Full Flavor” kind)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Cream butter with sugar
  2. Add egg, milk, and molasses
  3. Mix everything else in
  4. Refrigerate the dough overnight
  5. Roll dough onto flowered surface until approximately 1/8" thick, and cut into shapes
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until done (approximately 8 minutes)

If you end up making either of these recipes, or if you have similar recipes that you'd like to share, please leave feedback. I'm very curious to hear what you think!

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  • I've had cardamom bread since childhood as well, but not from grandmother.  In stead my source is the Handy Bakery in East Providence, RI.  I have never topped or altered the bread by toasting or anything else, it is just too delicious just the way it is.  The bakery however is reducing it's hours, now only open Fri-Sun, so I have been seeking recipes to make myself.  Can't wait to try it.

  • I had a recipe for pepparkakor from Family Circle that I've been making for years, lost the recipe but the picture looks exactly how that recipe baked up. It called for Cardamom also. They are so good. I dip them in white chocolate also. Thanks, can't wait to try these.

  • This recipe is close to my grandmothers, except, 1 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. cinnimon, and 1 tsp. cloves. Also a heaping TBS of baking powder and ione half cup of molasses. Yummy!

  • my recipe is very close to yours it came straight over from Norway via grandmother Isaksen. the difference is dark karo syrup instead of molasses, cream instead of milk and 1 1/2 C of sugar and 2 1/2 C. of flour everything else being the same and we roll into large logs chill overnight slice really wafer thin sprinkle with sugar and bake.....mmmm nothing better with coffee or hot tea

  • thank you. i have a bunch of written down scribble from an experienced baker in my family - someone who is a novice like me is bound to mess up. Thanks for simplifying this recipe!

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