Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gingery Low Fat Goodness: Pepparkakor Cookies

When I last posted here, back in the fall of 2014, my daughter SC had just had a horrific gall bladder attack. She had to have surgery, but had to wait about 6 weeks until it could be scheduled, and for those 6 weeks she had to be on a drastically low fat diet.

It was a challenging time, especially since it was during the holidays, but we got through it. She had the surgery and recovered well. But having her gall bladder removed has meant that she has fat tolerance issues. Too much of a good thing, and well, it sends her running for the nearest bathroom.

She manages it nicely for the most part, and one more reason I am glad that she is living at home during college is that she avoids all the perils of bad dormitory food. And since she is at home, I like being able to make things that are delicious but low fat.

I discovered these cookies in that same fall of 2014. I was hoping to find a recipe for hermit cookies akin to the version Freihoffer's Bakeries in the Albany, NY area used to make. They were a favorite of mine in college.

I didn't find those, but I did find the recipe that follows, and I was thrilled to discover that despite the butter and eggs in the recipe, they are low fat!  That's because this recipe makes so many cookies, so you get only a tiny amount of fat in each. And unlike most recipes, not only does this recipe really make as many cookies as it says it does, I've made more. This week's baking yielded 6 dozen.

I recognized the name of these cookies from one of my favorite books: Pippi Longstocking:
"Pippi was baking pepperkakor, that's a kind of Swedish cookie."

Pippi rolls out and cuts her cookie dough into hearts, and apparently that's the traditional Swedish method, but several people reviewing this recipe said that these are even better. They are spicy but not overwhelmingly so, and if you put them in a closed container stay chewy but soft. 

They mix quickly in a stand mixer, and shaping them doesn't take much time once you know how.
And if you don't want to use the dough all at once, it can be refrigerated easily for several days. Or roll it into individual balls and freeze them for later baking.

Pepperkakor  (Swedish ginger and spice cookies)
Originally found HERE at

3/4 cup  butter, softened
2  cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbs ground ginger
2 tsp   baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Sugar (about 1/2 cup) for coating the cookies

Beat butter and 2 cups sugar in a mixer (or by hand) until creamed.
Beat in the eggs and molasses.

Combine the other ingredients in a separate bowl and add a little at a time to the liquids, beating continuously.

Roll the dough into teaspoon sized balls. Or use a cookie scoop/mini meatball maker to make small balls, split them in half, and roll each half into a small ball.

Put the 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl. Roll the cookies in the sugar and place them on
greased or parchment covered baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. When they are done, the cookies will have nice color and puff up,but still be pretty soft to the touch.

Let them cool on the sheet for a minute or two, then flip them over onto their backs.
Let them cool a bit more, then flip them back over and put them on a plate or in a container.
(They will shrink back down and may even have a few wrinkles. That's how they're supposed to look!)

If you want them to stay soft, store them in a closed container.
This will yield 5-6 dozen cookies.

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