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Norwegian Cookie Advent Calendar
Submitted by Pam on Sat, 11/10/2012 - 00:47
Without a doubt - the yummiest Advent Calendar ever! Just the fragrance alone will fill every nook and cranny of your home with the scent of Christmas goodness.
Last year, Gill, a lovely on-line friend living in Norway shared with me a story about the cookie Advent Calendars her MIL made every year for each of her children.
Late in November, just before the Advent season began, she would bake Pepperkaker - lovely spicy ginger cookies - and hang strings of 24 each around the kitchen window. Every morning, every child in the family would cut a cookie from their own string and enjoy it with breakfast!
You know me - I immediately fell for the idea and resolved to make a string of Pepperkaker to celebrate all future Advent seasons!
Making a Pepperkakor Advent Calendar is so easy!
Simply bake your cookies (don't forget to make little holes), insert a ribbon in each cookie and hang as a garland or in clusters from a Pinhook!
If your family just is not into ginger spice cookies, you could try making your cookie calendar with sugar cookies!
Don't you love my very cool Nisse/Tomte cookie cutter ordered just for this calendar? You too can order yours right here!
Or, if you are not into baking, Ikea has stocked plenty of "Pepparkaka Figurer" in pretty stars and hearts. Each cookie already has a hole waiting for ribbon!
A close look so you can see my Pinhooks at work! Hang three or four or five cookies per hook. I like using ribbons of different lengths so I can see all my cookies! (Please no mention of my less than wonderful skill with frosting!)
The Pepperkaker recipe I used is fabulous. It can be found in "The Great Scandinavian Baking Book". I found it published in Viking, a monthly magazine published by the Sons of Norway. Here is a link to the recipe on line! Or you can try one of the similar recipes that ARE available on line - links below.
If you happen to have a family recipe for Pepperkaker, I would love it if you would share a link in comments and I will add it to the list below.
The recipe I used called for grated orange peel. I don't know whether this addition would be considered traditional but the combination of citrus and spice and ginger - heaven. You can try it in any of the recipes listed.
I didn't have an orange in the house so I turned to the magic elixir from King Arthur - known as Fiori de Sicilia! It is important not to use too much - only 1/4 tsp for a cookie recipe calling for 3 to 4 cups of flour. But the fragrance of a cookie laced with Fiori de Sicilia and ginger and cinnamon and cloves is simply intoxicating. Try it sometime!!
So what do you think of Gill's Advent Cookie Calendar? Me - I LOVE it 100 times!
ONE MONTH EVALUATION - ADDED 11/30/2012
Just so you know! My cookie advent calendar has been hanging now for nearly a month and I am happy to report that the Christmas Pepperkaker cookies are holding up amazingly well!
First of all, they have not fallen. Making the cookies fairly thick, placing the hole at least 1/2" to 5/8" from the cookie edge, and hanging with ribbon is key.
At the current moment mine are quite crisp! But that does change with the humidity.
And the taste - still delicious! I can't believe they have retained their flavor so well. This may not be the case with all cookie recipes however. Sadly the Ikea cookies tasted like sawdust within 10 days.
Consider making a cookie count down calendar to celebrate Scandinavian Christmas - December 12 (St Lucy Eve) to December 25th (Christmas Day!) Not so many cookies to bake and hang!!!
Recipes to try: