Gingerbread is actually called pepper biscuits in Norwegian or “pepperkaker” as we say. The typical Norwegian recipe actually varies both with and without pepper. We think the pepper gives the recipe a bit of extra character. This recipe also contains a bit of clove to enhance the spiced taste.
Gingerbread comes in all kinds of variations, thick, thin, light or dark color. This is of course up to personal preference. We like to make ours quite thin and a bit on the darker side. The color is controlled by the baking time, and the syrup you use in the recipe. The thickness is of course controlled by how thin you decide to roll out the dough. A small tip here is to roll out your dough directly onto the greaseproof paper, make your cutouts and remove the extra dough. This way you don’t need to move the cutout cakes onto the greaseproof paper after, which again will make sure you get perfect shapes.
This recipe also contains a bit of clove to enhance the spiced taste.
We use Gingerbread to decorate our home for Christmas. We make big Hart’s hanging in red ribbons, decorated with icing sugar. The Christmas tree in the image is another way to make decorations. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest and we hope you will share your ideas on our social media or her in the comments.
For our hearts, we use paper templates to get the perfect shapes. If you don’t have cookie cutters you can use the same trick. Letting kids make their own templates is also a great way to make this recipe into a family project.
Gingerbread as an aperitif
Gingerbread is actually a really easy way to make an aperitif or a small sweet dessert. all you need is a bit of strong flavor cheese, preferably one with mold on it. We like Norzola (a Norwegian Gorgonzola), or kraftkar, but you can use any type of cheese you like. However, it is important to use one that can match the spicy gingerbread. Serve with a glass of port wine.
The recipe below is for 8 portions. This a quite large dough, and depending on what you want to make, you can scale this recipe up and down according to your needs. This dough can also keep in the fridge for up to one week. We also tried freezing it and it seems to work fine as long as you make sure to give the dough time to unfreeze.
- measure cup
- standing mixer
- Kitchen knife
- 500 gr Butter
- 1.5 dl Dark syrup
- 1.5 dl light syrup
- 6 dl Sugar
- 3 dl Heavy cream
- 1200 gr Flour (low protein)
- 1.5 tsp pepper
- 1.5 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tsp ground cloves
- 5 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp baking powder
- Heat syrup, butter, and sugar in a kettle until the sugar is completely dissolved
- Remove the kettle from the heat and leave to cool
- Stir in the heavy cream
- Measure in the other ingredients to the bowl of your standing mixer
- Add the wet ingredients from the kettle
- Knead until well combined
- Cover the dough and leave to rest for 24 hours in the fridge
- The next day roll out the dough and cut out the shapes you want
- Bake for about 12 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius
If you would like more suggestions for other Christmas recipes, try our Norwegian Christmas cake.