Gingerbread cookies with bitter orange peel, just because.
Text and Photo © CM Cordeiro 2013

I was over at a friend’s place recently, where in Sweden, gingerbread cookies make an abundance of appearance at coffee tables in various shapes during this time of year. Most store-bought gingerbread cookies are made with the basic ingredients of flour, sugar, syrup and spices, where they are generally a tad too sharp in sweetness for my liking, the reason why the ones served at the table on this occasion at my friend’s place intrigued.

The cookies were lighter in colour and more voluminous than the standard dark gold, thin flats of gingerbread cookies bought off the shelves at the grocery stores. And they tasted, different. I enquired after their source and her lighthearted answer was that they came from an artisan bakery shop just down the street where she lived, and no, they didn’t come off the shelf from the grocery store, her eyes just barely flinting in horror.

She was happy to hear I liked them and she said that this brand of artisan gingerbread cookies were her favourite because it contained pomeransskal, or ground bitter orange peel. Agreeing on what ingredient could give such a delightful twist to the standard gingerbread cookies, I told her I would look up the recipe when back home.

Skansens julpepparkakor recept – is a Christmas gingerbread recipe, just because of that bitter orange peel – where in Sweden, an orange decorated with cloves makes for a nice table setting during the year end festive season.

This weekend, I did just that – bake this batch of bitter orange peel gingerbread cookies. And the recipe for it has its heritage from Skansen, Stockholm.

The cookie dough is best left overnight in the refrigerator to set and the flavours to meld. Thereafter, it takes just about under twenty minutes to cut the dough into various shapes of your liking and baked a batch at a time, for exactly 8 mins per batch, at a high of 200C.

Perfect, to that cup of English Breakfast tea.

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