Astrid's Norwegian Pepperkaker
This recipe comes from Astrid Karlsen Scott’s wonderful Norwegian Christmas cookbook entitled Ekte Norsk Jul, Volume 2. It is one of my favorites and always a big hit due to the memorable flavor imparted by the cardamom. I used unbleached organic white flour. Do yourself a favor and purchase new spices for holiday season. Fresh cardamom is a must for this recipe and makes all the difference. Used by permission.
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup cream, scant
1 tsp. baking soda
3 to 3½ cups white flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. baking powder
Cream butter and sugar until white. Add cream and blend again. Mix the baking soda in a little water or coffee and add to flour mixture. Sift spices and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until a nice dough forms. Using a sheet of parchment paper, roll the dough into a 2½-inch diameter long sausage. Twist the ends of the parchment paper to seal and refrigerate to chill—at least 4 hours.
Unwrap the chilled dough and cut into thin slices of about ¼ inch. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, completely cool, and store in an airtight container.
For more information on Christmas cookies, see my article, "One is Silver and the Other is Gold."
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