Cardamom Bread and Pepparkakor Cookies

I thought about titling this post, Man Found Dead with Cardamom Bread Recipe Stuffed in His Mouth. However, after considering the situation realistically for a moment, I realized that my grandparents probably wouldn't knock me off for sharing two of our secret Swedish holiday recipes. But, if I turn up missing, you know who to look for! :-)

Every year around the holidays, I look forward to these two tasty treats. I've eaten cardamom bread and papparkakor cookies during Christmastime for as long as I can remember. The smell of either of them baking immediately brings back warm memories for me. About 10 years ago, I asked my grandparents for these recipes, and they were kind enough to provide them. I'm posting both of them here so that others can enjoy their fantastic flavor.

Cardamom Bread

Here's the recipe that I use for cardamom bread. The original recipe is the version that I received from my grandparents. The modified recipe is my own conversion for use with a bread machine. I've made this recipe tens of times, and I'm always pleased with the results.

Original Recipe Modified for Bread Machine
¾ cup milk   ½ cup milk
¼ cup butter   3 tablespoons butter
1 egg   1 egg
1/3 cup sugar   ¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt   ½ teaspoon salt
3 cups flour   2¼ cups flour (bread flour)
2 teaspoons yeast   1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1½ - 2 teaspoons cardamom   1½ teaspoons cardamom(3 teaspoons if using powder)
  1. Microwave milk and butter for approximately 50 seconds
  2. Make dough using all ingredients (manually or with bread machine on "dough" mode)
  3. Divide into 3 rolled strips, cover with cloth, and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  4. Braid dough and top with light sugar coating (not included in above ingredients)
  5. Allow to rise for 40-50 minutes under plastic wrap
  6. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack

 Cardamom bread is good toasted or plain, buttered or not. If you're like me, you won't be able to limit yourself to just one or two slices. :-)

Pepparkakor Cookies

Done properly, pepparkakor cookies (a Swedish twist on ginger cookies) are relatively thin and crisp. Pepparkakor cookie dough is my favorite, with chocolate chip cookie dough coming in a close second (at least the Nestlé Toll House recipe). Yeah, I know...raw eggs, Salmonella, etc. Call me crazy, but kids and adults have been eating raw cookie dough since the dawn of time (okay...maybe not quite that long), and as far as I know, kids aren't keeling over in the kitchen. But hey, I'm no doctor, so proceed at your own risk.

1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons molasses (I prefer the “Dark Full Flavor” kind)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Cream butter with sugar
  2. Add egg, milk, and molasses
  3. Mix everything else in
  4. Refrigerate the dough overnight
  5. Roll dough onto flowered surface until approximately 1/8" thick, and cut into shapes
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until done (approximately 8 minutes)

If you end up making either of these recipes, or if you have similar recipes that you'd like to share, please leave feedback. I'm very curious to hear what you think!