Swedish Ginger Cookies (Pepparkakor)

I asked Joan if I could include this traditional Swedish Ginger Cookie in honor of my hometown, Lindsborg, Kansas: Little Sweden U.S.A. This weekend (Dec. 11th) they celebrate Santa Lucia Day with a town festival.

Click to get the recipe and pattern

It includes the crowning of St. Lucia (with a crown of lit candles…and it’s scary because in Lindsborg the candles are real!).  She is usually the eldest daughter of the family.

This is followed by a parade down Main Street to the Swedish Lutheran Church (where I used to go) where there’s lots of Scandinavian food…including these Ginger Cookies.  In the old days, the aforementioned daughter would bring a tray of these cookies and coffee to everyone in the household on St. Lucia Day morning.

This recipe is from Edith Carlson and appears in our town’s cookbook, Measure for Pleasure. It was a gift from my late mother and is the most cherished cookbook I own.

You can add grated orange rind, ground clove, nutmeg or cinnamon to this recipe as well.  I especially love the cookie pattern included in the recipe!  (It’s in the shape of a pig…pork is popular at Christmas time!)  As you can see in the photo on the right…you can have fun with all kinds of shapes…making it a great baking project to do with your kids or grandkids.

Click the image on the left to get a PDF of recipe and the pattern.

God Jul!