This Swedish cookie is just enough different from all other Scandinavian “gingersnaps” to make it definitely special: delicate, spicy, and hot!
These candy-cane shaped cookies have gone through a lot of hemming, hawing, and testing over the years. I love the idea, but the final result is never quite perfection. Last year, the texture was not tender enough and the peppermint flavor not pronounced enough. They looked pretty, but well…
There are many versions of this particular cookie, but none quite so tender and rich as this one. The addition of orange and lemon juice ensures a tender dough and adds a flavor nuance that is very appealing.
This is a delicious rolled cookie, tender, buttery, and not too sweet—which is tinted and shaped to look like a pink poinsettia. No matter how many types of beautiful cookies festoon a holiday gathering, this one always causes the most buzz. It also disappears first.
These delicious cookies are very short and tender, and barely sweet. They literally melt in your mouth and the flavor says toasted almonds all the way.
These distinctively flavored cookies can be decorated with sanding sugar or sprinkles before baking, or with a simple buttercream or royal icing after baking. Either embellishment adds just the right amount of sweetness. However, these cookies are also delicious unadorned with afternoon tea.
I developed the prototype for these cookies last year as part of the product line for LunaCafe OtherWorldly Artisan Cookies, which will hopefully launch in the not too distant future. Although I can’t share that top secret formula with you (more than 10 years in testing), here is essentially the same flavoring in a traditional and utterly delicious (light, crisp, buttery) shortbread cookie.
You might be tempted to think that this is just another ho-hum rolled chocolate cookie recipe. But I assure you, this is not the case. When you open a tin of these cookies, your nose will tell you that there is something special going on here. Aromatic spices combined with chocolate, espresso, orange, ancho chile, and cayenne make these cookies highly addictive and a good choice for afternoon tea, even well beyond the holiday season.
During one of my Christmas cookie baking lunacy periods, I got the idea for a super-lemony Mexican Wedding Cake cookie. I tried a number of versions, increasing the lemon aspect each time, but could not get the OVER-THE-TOP lemony flavor I was after. Then inspiration hit! The flavor I was trying to achieve is actually contained in a little packet of, can you guess?
A wonderful Christmas sugar cookie with the heady aroma of orange and vanilla, plus a crisp, light texture and only moderate sweetness. As perfect on the holiday cookie platter as with solitary afternoon tea by the fireplace.
I had long been searching for the perfect, tender, melt-in-the-mouth pressed cookie recipe when I encountered this one in the home of my Finnish mother-in-law, Ellen Hill Bradley. Ellen got it from her English mother-in-law, Lily Hawkinson Bradley—a lady of some distinction in the culinary arts. Where Lily got it, only heaven knows, but perhaps it was from a Swedish friend, as the Swedish reference has traveled with the recipe for many decades.
LunaCafe OtherWorldly Kitchen presents a holiday cookie extravaganza, one time-tested, delectable cookie a day for each of the twelve days of Christmas. The twelfth day debuts Ellen’s Swedish Pepparkakor, the best cookie in the known universe.