Norwegian Pepperkaker

The Christmas cookies I remember most are those that were given to our family by my best friends mother.  In fact, the only cookies I make at Christmas are from Laila.  I'm so grateful I took the time one day to write down her recipes.  Her Norwegian Pepperkaker were always so crunchy and had a bit of spicy heat to them.  

Pepperkaker are perfect for shipping.  They will last stored in tins for weeks.  The flavor lasts as long as the cookie.

They are so simple to make.  You will want to add them to your Christmas cookie exchange list and that's why I decided to make them for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  The cookie swap brings food bloggers from around the world and creates a huge cookie exchange to raise funds for Cookies For Kids Cancer.  This is the third time I have been involved.  I send one dozen cookies to three selected food bloggers.  In return I receive a dozen cookies from three different food bloggers and end up receiving 3 dozen cookies.  How fun is that? 

Check out the recipes that I received from the following food bloggers:

Fleur Delicious: Confetti Cookies

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

You will need:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup or golden syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoons cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup sugar.

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

 stirring to incorporate the butter.

Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, prepare dry ingredients.  Begin by freshly grinding 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

I'm sure you all know by now that I'm not a fan of canned black pepper.  Canned ground black pepper will over power the spice flavors in this cookie.  Try not to use it unless you absolutely have to.  The cookie should have a subtle pepper flavor.

Sift 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cloves.

and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.

Add 1 egg to the slightly cool sugar mixture.

Add the flour spice mixture.

Beat until smooth.

Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap.

Wrap tightly.

Form the dough into a square to make roll out more simple.  

Place in refrigerator dough for several hours or overnight.

After dough has chilled for several hours, remove from the refrigerator and place on a floured surface.

I think putting a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the dough helps to roll the dough thing.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 7-8 minutes or until golden and browning on the sides.

Remove from oven and cool.

Layer Pepperkaker in tins and store in a cool place.

Norwegian Pepperkaker
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup or golden syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoons cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small saucepan add sugar, corn syrup, butter and vinegar to a simmer.  Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.  Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.  Mix in egg.   Sift together the flour, soda, pepper, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Once dough has chilled, roll dough very thing on a floured surface.  Cut into any desired shapes.  Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 7-8 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet immediately and allow to cool.  Store in airtight tins.


It's a Chocolate Dipping Party and Candy Giveaway

This the season...

Every year for 35 years I spend at least 2 weeks making candy.  The holiday season does not begin in our home until the chocolates are dipped!  I then package the candy for delivery.  I carefully wrap each box, tie it with a bow, and adorn it with a tag saying "Merry Christmas From The Barton Family".  

Every year I have my family deliver the candy to friends and neighbors.  If I delivered them, I would probably throw the box and them and say, "Merry Christmas, here's your damn candy!"  

I would walk away sobbing, hunched over while eating the chocolate from under my fingernails that has been there for the past 2 weeks.   


This year I decided to mix it up.

It's time for a change baby.

This apron will not be covered in chocolate.

The caramels are made and cut almost perfectly.

Trays are fulled with centers ready to be dipped.

I only use pecans from Sunnyland Farms in Georgia.  

This is a picture from last years dip.  My hands have looked like this for 34 years.

Not this year.  Because...

I rented a commercial candy kitchen.

No more hand tempering for me.

Chocolate tempered.

This is the cutest little enrobing attachment.

My solo chocolate dipping has turned into a chocolate party.

Money cannot the great friends I have that gave up a day of their crazy, busy lives to help me.

I love them.

Just a little chocolate my apron and a little on my sleeve.

During a normal dipping year I can find chocolate in very strange places.  Behind my ears, on my elbows, feet, on any phone, on every knob in my kitchen and even on the toilet. (I do wash my hands)

Not this year.

The ladies and I, oh and one dude, managed to enrobe almost 800 pieces of candy in milk chocolate.  
This weekend will be spent enrobing in dark chocolate.  Lucious, beautiful dark chocolate.  Heaven.
I have some surprising changes for my dark chocolates this year.  Cross your fingers and hope they work.

This is my 35th year of candy making and chocolate dipping.

Enjoy the chocolates my friends because it might be your last.

I'm seriously considering retirement.

It's giveaway time!

I'm giving away 4 one pound chocolates this year.  Simply complete the form below.  Share your holiday traditions.  I love reading about your fabulous holiday traditions.  They just warm my heart.  I will ship outside the USA (it costs me a fortune, but I love my world wide readers)

Contest ends Dec. 17, 2014 at noon MST.