Even though it’s not the first thing that I’ve made and photographed since moving back to the house in New Orleans, I thought that it would be fitting to open up with a ginger-themed cookie.
People always give me bags of gingersnaps and candied ginger and ginger tea for presents (especially Christmas), and I always feel bad because I’m not a big fan. I know that it’s ironic (or whatever word would be used to describe a situation where you don’t like a food that is very similar to your given name…I doubt that there is a proper descriptive term for that) for me to not like ginger, but it’s just weird to me. It’s a bit overwhelming and too savory for my tastes, but there is one exception to this rule.
A few years ago, a friend bought me a huge container of pepparkakor from Cost Plus World Market for a Christmas present, and I was hooked from the first bite. Pepparkakor are thin Danish gingersnaps, and the best kinds are super thin and crispy and ridiculously spicy.
I decided a long time ago that I needed to learn to make them for myself so that they could be a more constant presence in my life, but never found a recipe that seemed worth the effort. Recently, after secretly stalking one of my favorite blogs, Tea & Cookies, through her archives, I found a pepparkakor recipe that looked delicious, and my fate was sealed.
The recipe is here for interested parties (Do it. Just do it. Make a big mess.). It’s a decent amount of work, and it’s really important to keep the dough cold and use flour liberally to keep it from sticking while you’re rolling out the dough. I feel like my body temperature must be oven-like because I only had 3 minutes top before the dough was getting tragically sticky.
My countertop and my hands and the fridge handle and the oven handle and my apron are thoroughly coated in flour, but I think it’s worth it. I’m waiting for a cold glass of milk this afternoon to really enjoy these, but I may have tasted one right out of the oven and declared it delicious.
These aren’t quite as sweet and crispy as I want, but the spice and molasses is just right. I think that I need to just get more adventurous and roll out that dough as thin as possible to really get that effect that I want. I also shied away from the salt sprinkle on top (which is weird for me because usually sweet & salty is my jam, yo), but I think it would have been the way to go.
It’s not like anyone’s going to have to twist my arm to make these again. I’ve got plenty of time to perfect these for Christmas.