December 3rd. Another day another cookie.
The Danish Gingerbread cookies aka "Brunkager" has a very long history dating back to the late 1400s. The name stems from Peberkager or Pepper cookies, but pepper is not meaning the spice pepper, but more likely meaning strong flavored cookies. Traditionally the cookie contains the warm spices we all use in fall, like ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
The tradition of baking gingerbread cookies for christmas, became more common, when it became easier to control the temperature of the ovens, back in the mid 1800s.
Most families have their own recipe for gingerbread cookies. I never got my parents recipe. I was sad to see that it wasn't in my mothers little black recipe book, when I got it a few years ago. I remember rolling out the doug and using cookie cutters to make small men, women, hearts, stars and Yule Goats. We rarely decorate the cookies with icing, I think my parents didn't like the mess and the cookies became to sweet.
So I had to find one that I liked. And this one is nothing like the one my mom baked. I love Mette Blomsterberg, so of course I found one of her recipes. This is how I made the cookies:
- 250 g butter
- 125 g syrup I use "lys sirup" from dansukker*
- 250 g brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon Potassium carbonate K2CO3 (Potaske)**
- 1 tablespoons cold water
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 60 g candied orange peel
- 25 g raw pistachios
- 150 g Almonds
- 500 g All-purpose flour
Melt butter, syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan on medium heat, until it reaches 160 ℉ (70 ℃). Remove saucepan from heat.
Mix allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and flour and add orange zest, almonds and pistachios.
Dissolve the Potassium carbonate (potasken) in the water and add it to the flour mixture.
Mix it all together in a stand mixer, until the dough is uniform.
Put the batter in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Press well to fill the baking pan completely. Cover the dough with a piece of parchment paper. Let cool at room temperature until the next day. The dough should be about 1 inch high in the pan.
Cut the dough into 3-5 logs with a sharp knife. Cut each log in thin slices and bake them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 355℉ (180℃) for 9-13 minutes.
Cool completely on a rack and store in an airtight container.
* You can get the syrup here
** You can replace potaske with baking soda, but the cookies won't be as crispy. You can get potaske here.