A recipe for Piparkakut (Finnish Gingerbread Cookies) to celebrate the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! These golden cookies are packed with a wonderful combination of warming spices.
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Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap
This is my first year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! This event, hosted by Linsay of Love and Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen, joins together a great group food bloggers from around the world and sponsors to raise money for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. It has been a huge success ever since its first year in 2011.
For the event, I sent out a dozen cookies each to three different bloggers: Little Lady Nibbles, Ginger and Toasted Sesame, and It’s Okay To Eat The Cupcake.
In return, I received Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from Sarah of Sarah’s Bake Studio, Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies with Cranberries and Pistachios from Brenda of A Farmgirl’s Dabbles, and Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from Megan of Strawberry Blondie Kitchen!
Piparkakut (Finnish Gingerbread Cookies)
For the swap, I made Piparkakut. Piparkakku is a type of Finnish Gingerbread Cookie with crisp edges and seasoned with warming spices- orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, allspice, and black pepper.
Dark syrup (Tumma Siirappi) and spices are melted with butter, then beaten until light. The mixture is combined with an egg and finally the flour to form a soft and smooth dough. The dough is then wrapped in plastic and refrigerated at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
This extra chilling time helps in rolling the dough very thinly (between 1/8-1/4 inch, 3-5 millimeters thick) to create the right texture without falling apart.
For a more traditional shape, cut the dough with a round scalloped cutter. We also made a variety of hearts, Christmas trees, and stars. The kids particularly loved dinosaur-shaped Piparkakut.
A Few Piparkakku Tips
This dough can get sticky as it is rolled thinner. Add just enough flour to handle without tearing. You can also roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to keep the flour addition to a minimum.
Bake similar sized shapes together to avoid different cooking times. Take care while baking some shapes with thin and pointed edges. They will darken more quickly.
After baking and cooling to room temperature, I sometimes top the cookies with a dusting of powdered sugar or decorate in more intricate designs with icing.
The exact amount of cookies will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
Tumma siirappi is a dark syrup with a sugar beet base popular in Scandinavian baking. It can be found in some markets with Scandinavian ingredients or on Amazon: Swedish Dark Baking Syrup. If unavailable, Wind from the North has a recipe for homemade dark syrup.
Looking for more recipes from Finland?
- Voisilmäpulla (Finnish Butter Eye Buns)
- Makaronilaatikko (Finnish Macaroni Casserole)
- Joulutorttu (Finnish Christmas Tarts)
Piparkakut (Finnish Gingerbread Cookies) Recipe
Adapted from Cake Crumbs and Beach Sand
Piparkakut (Finnish Gingerbread Cookies)
- 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) Tumma Siirappi dark syrup
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter
- Zest from 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar
- In a small saucepan, combine the dark syrup, sugar, butter, orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, allspice, and black pepper over medium heat. Remove from heat once it comes to a boil and the butter has completely melted. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a stand mixer or large bowl.
- Once the mixture starts to simmer and the butter has completely melted, remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a stand mixer or large bowl
- Beat the spice mixture until light and pale. Beat in the egg.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the beaten spice mixture until a soft and smooth dough comes together.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease.
- Unwrap one pieces of dough and place on a floured surface. Keep the remaining dough in refrigerator.
- Roll the dough into a thin sheet (between 1/8-1/4 inches, 3-5 millimeters thick), flouring as needed just enough to keep it from sticking.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and arrange at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) apart on prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven until slightly puffed and beginning to darken around the edges. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Store in airtight container for up to a week. If desired, dust with powdered sugar or decorate with icing before serving.