Pepperkaker Tomtes (Norwegian Gingerbread Cookies)

Pepperkaker Tomtes

  • Servings: Makes: Many - about 7 dozen tomte-sized cookies
  • Print
Makes: Many (about 7 dozen nisse/tomte-sized cookies)

2/3 cup butter, unsalted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup golden syrup
¼ cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt (skip if using salted butter)

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream, spices and black pepper; stir until fully incorporated.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, baking soda and salt on low speed until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the warm butter mixture and beat for 30 seconds, then increase speed to medium-low and beat until the ingredients are fully incorporated and a dough forms, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a ball and press into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

To bake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough until 1/8-inch thick, or even just under, being careful not to tear the dough. The thinner the dough, the crisper the cookie.

Dust a cookie cutter with flour and cut the dough into desired shapes. Transfer cutouts to the parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between cookies. To ensure the cookies hold their shape while baking, chill the cut cookies in the fridge or freezer for 5 to 7 minutes before baking.

Collect any dough scraps, form into a ball, press into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out again.

Working in single batches, place the baking sheet on the center oven rack and bake until the edges just start to turn golden-brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and leave cookies on baking sheet until fully cool, then transfer to a wire rack.

Leftover dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days before rolling out and baking.

Pepperkaker are perfect served plain or decorated with royal icing or a dusting powdered sugar.

To store: Pepperkaker are best stored in a metal tin, as plastic will cause them to soften, and will keep, properly stored, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Sarah’s Tips:

  • In lieu of golden syrup, substitute either ½ cup of light molasses or combine ¼ cup each of light and dark corn syrup.