Thursday, September 17, 2015

Midweek Roundup: "Worth the Wait!"

Photo by Rachel
Cooking and Thinking

Although Rachel thinks that saying "pepparkakor" three times fast makes her sound "like a parrot," that didn't stop her from enjoying these little gingersnap cookies--made even better by waiting overnight for them while they were in the freezer.  Rachel also had one of the best ideas of the week:  she happened to be making granola while she was baking the cookies, and she discovered that crumbled pepparkakor make a wonderful addition to granola!  What a great discovery!

Kim paid these cookies the highest of compliments, in my opinion--she compared them to a bottle of memorable wine.  Not just any wine:  "a wine ... that has personality--something that doesn't sit on the fence--something that isn't medium about anything."  A memorable wine and a memorable cookie.  Kim, like others in the group, noted that this would be an excellent Christmas cookie.  (But as I said, I can't assign two months of cookies--there would be mass mutiny!)

Tony liked these cookies so much--both as a plain cookie and a cookie-and-goat-cheese appetizer--that he's adding them to his baking line.  He's still experimenting with the thickness and with his own blend of spices, but he'll surely have them perfected by Christmas!

Baking these pepparkakors was a trip down memory lane for Vicki, reminding her of a trip she took to a California town called Kingsburg, a "cute little town with Swedish origins," sporting a water tower shaped like a Swedish coffee pot, and selling apfelskiver and "pepper cookies," which turned out to be, of course, pepparkakor.  See you in the "Christmas cookie lineup," pepparkakor!

A trip down memory lane for another reason for Michele, or at least for Smitty, her husband.  When Smitty was a little boy, and was probably not called Smitty, his mother baked molasses cookies, which were called "Rabbit Cookies," because of the rabbit on the Br'er Rabbit Molasses bottle.  And Smitty called these particular cookies "Jacked Rabbit Cookes," because they were hacked up not only with black pepper, but also with cayenne.  (One version of Michele's was sprinkled with sugar and cayenne--a real sweet/savoury blend).  

Aimee compared these cookies to kourambiethes--not because of their taste, obviously, but because they are cookies "(a) I have never had, and (b) would never think of making."  (Also, they're both hard to pronounce).  But that is a thing of the past.  From now on, when she gets a request for gingersnaps, she'll make these "tasty, upscale, and Scandinavian" version.

Faithful Faithy baked these cookies even though:  1) she was feeling under the weather, 2) the annual Indonesian haze is making the air in Singapore unbreathable; and 3) the cookie instructions seemed very "laychay" (fussy).  And she continued even though it was so hot the cookies, even direct from the freezer, started to melt and the dough was extremely unsightly.  But she was rewarded with cookies that are "wonderfully delicious."  And the next time she makes them, she won't even complain.

Poor Jenn!  Her summer has been so busy she's only had a chance to blog a few times, and both times it was about something heavily molasses-flavored, which happens to be a flavor that she does not like at all.  But she made them anyway because she was helping Rose test high-altitude baking for her Craftsy class--so she deserves credit for making cookies she must have been pretty sure she wasn't going to like.  Fortunately, there is no molasses in the immediate future, so the coast is clear--at least until we get to the Molasses Sugar Butter Cookies.

Kristina had an easier time saying what these were not than what they were:  "definitely not pepernoten.  It's definitely not speculaas.  It's definitely not gingerbread," although it's "quite gingery, with the other spieces fading a bit into the background as supporting actors."  Whatever they are, she likes them, and so does husband Jay.  The only thing....her beater blade broke in her marathon cooking baking.  Not with these, but with chocolate chip cookie dough.  But Rose stepped in, and told her just to contact the maker, and they'd replace it, since they don't warn you not to use it for heavy doughs (like chocolate chip cookies).

Joan generously made up a basket of these cookies to take to her feline vet, since her newest kitten has been ailing (not really ailing, I guess--running a temp but looking and acting perfectly healthy).  Another good idea:  always have some of this cookie dough in your freezer, since it takes only a "half hour to make them from freezer position."  And wouldn't people think you were amazing if you could always serve them these cookies fresh from the oven?

Milagritos knew she had a very busy week ahead of her, so she decided in advance to "take as many shortcuts as possible with this recipe."  When I read that, I was very curious to see what shortcuts she'd take.  And here they are:  1)  Don't bother with a mixer, just use a fork (she has the pictures to prove it can be done); 2) Never mind the tubing.  just use a cookie scoop, press the dough down, and flatten it with a coffee tamper (I don't have one either); and 3) Forget about freezing the dough for 12 hours.  We don't have a side-by-side comparison, but Milagritos thought the shortcut Pepparkakors were "delicious and very moreish," and her husband ate them standing up, "always a good sign." 

I know there are some other cookies waiting to be posted, but it's Thursday night, and I want to go read a book, so it's time to post.

And for next week:  A Honey Cake for a Sweet New Year.  Some of you have probably already made this for a holiday dinner.  Honey cakes are not part of my tradition, so I'm curious to see what this one will be like.  


  1. These cookie were a big win, unless not a molasses fan, so I'm wondering what they would be like made totally with Lyle's Golden Syrup? Think I"ll try at batch at the holidays along with another batch of these.

  2. Great! I thought I left a comment but did an upgrade that may have disrupted -- fun we rite up and great cookies! Mmm