Min Nyttiga Pepparkakor: Simply The Healthiest And Most Fragrant Swedish Ginger Cookies Ever

Ok, Ok, I know. I should not go around making statements like the one I have just made. I promised to Santa to be lagom this year. Lagom means just right in Swedish, and underlies how Swedes strive to avoid excess and particularly to avoid overstatements. So I hope Santa won’t deny me a present this Christmas, when I say that these cookies are, truly, without a doubt, and undeniably, the best Swedish ginger cookies I have ever tasted. And even more so knowing that in the ingredients there wasn’t just the usual granny-tested white sugar+syrup+white flour+butter+spice. Nope. There was much more than that, including some seriously nourishing and big time tasty additions.

How did I ended up modifying the time tested recipe for pepparkakor? Let’s see… the first years I was in Sweden I learned to like these little brown hearts which go so well with herborinated cheeses (try to believe!). Then two years ago I dared buying the batter already made and just shaped and baked it. Last year, I finally gathered all of my strength and made them from scratch. And that was the end of it. I mean… the end of me wanting to eat more than two or three pepparkakor per holidays season. Why is that? Well, once I saw what was in the cookies, I just could not make myself appreciate them as much as before. I could just taste the sugar and ended up throwing away most of the batch baked last year.

So this time I decided to make not just any pepparkakor but my pepparkakor. Twisting the recipe in a way that the taste and consistency would have remained the same (or even improved) and making these cookies into something I can actually be ok eating often during the holidays season (scroll down for the recipe – ricetta anche in italiano). 


You need / Ti servono:  

212 g organic all-purpose flour / 212 g farina 00

100 g organic oat flour / 100 g farina di avena

30 g organic coconut flour / 30 g farina di cocco

30 g organic almond flour / 30 g farina di mandorle

60 g organic unsalted walnuts butter / 60 g burro di noci

90 unsalted butter / burro

45 g organic coconut palm sugar / 45 g zucchero di palma di cocco

70 g organic unrefined sugar / 70 g zucchero integrale

1 tablespoon organic barley malt syrup / 1 cucchiaio malto d’orzo

1 tablespoon organic acacia honey / 1 cucchiaio miele d’acacia

1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger / 1 cucchiaino e ½ zenzero macinato

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon / 1 cucchiaio cannella macinata

1 ½ teaspoon ground clove / 1 cucchiaino e ½ chiodi di garofano macinati

1 teaspoon cardamom / 1 cucchiaino cardamomo macinato

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda / 1 cucchiaino e ½ bicarbonato di sodio

100 g water / 100 g acqua

1 teaspoon instant coffee / 1 cucchiaino caffe’ istantaneo

How to / Come fare:

-dissolve the coffee (you can use caffeine-free) in the water / sciogli il caffe’ nell’acqua

-combine the spices together in a little bowl / combina le spezie

-throw everything including all the other ingredients in a large bowl / combina tutti gli ingredienti

-use a wooden spoon then your hands to make a smooth dough / fai un impasto liscio

-make a ball out of the dough, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate / refrigera

-the day after roll the dough as thin as you can without breaking it / il giorno dopo stendi l’impasto sottile

-use cookies cutters to give the shape you prefer. the typical pepparkakor are shaped as hearts / forma

-bake at 180 degrees (Celsius, 356 Fahrenheit) for 11-12 minutes / cuoci a 180 gradi per 11-12 minuti

-they last 1 month in an airtight container / si mantengono 1 mese in un contenitore ben chiuso

CONSIDERATIONS: These cookies are the proof that traditional recipes (which often belong to a time when refined sugar and flours were already available) can be made closer to our, even more recently acquired, taste for healthy food WITHOUT losing their character in terms of appearance, taste, and fragrance. In this regard Santa will maybe agree with me and forgive my over-confident, self-celebrating, statements… I could have gone 100% sugar-free or 100% bla bla all the way and made these cookies into something that would not have resembled the original AT ALL. Nope. I have been lagom. Now where is my present?

With this picture I participate to, den här bilden är med och tävlar på, Matgeek – Månadens Matbild

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Barbara Elisi

Hi there! I am the "soul" behind Bread & Companatico. My main interest is the preservation of bread tradition and craft, with an eye to health. I hope you are having a good time reading this blog, and please don't be shy to connect with me through comments or emails and do keep on bread-ing! 🙂

Latest posts by Barbara Elisi (see all)

34 replies
  1. MC
    MC says:

    Fantastic, Barbara!!! I have been looking for such a recipe since the day, a few years back, when I looked at the ingredients in our favorite Xmas cookies and almost keeled over from shock… I’ll definitely make a batch. Thank you…

  2. themuffinmyth
    themuffinmyth says:

    These are gorgeous! I’ve been living in Sweden for 2 years now and I still can’t get on board with blue cheese on pepparkakor (tried it again tonight at a glögg fest) but I do love the cookies on their own. This recipe looks right up my alley. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  3. Baltic Maid
    Baltic Maid says:

    Oh my… I loove these cookies. So tasty and to think you can make them healthy… Ohhhh, this is just awesome. I would really love to make these cookies if I can find the ingredients.I have to search for some of the different flour types and the walnut butter. Could I use other types of honey instead of the acacia honey? Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    • My Italian Smörgåsbord
      My Italian Smörgåsbord says:

      I there! sure you can use other types of honey. I used the acacia one because it is naturally liquid. also, if you do not have the ingredients at hands (I am a health and baking freak so I actually did have them all in my pantry) you can get only one or two of the alternative flours (and adjust doses accordingly) rather than all of them. the results will be interesting and super yummy I am sure! I bet you can also use unsalted almond or hazelnut paste/butter (some call them paste, some butter) instead of walnuts butter. just avoid peanut butter, I think the taste would be overpowering.

  4. Rita cooks Italian (@ritacooksitalia)
    Rita cooks Italian (@ritacooksitalia) says:

    Oh Mamma Mia, cara Barbara questi biscottini sono bellissimi e sicuramente buoni visto gli ingredienti di alta qualita’ che hai usato per farli. Sono d’accordissimo con te piu’ gli ingredienti di base sono buoni e piu’ salutare e di qualita’ superiore e’ il risultato finale. Questi mi ricordano i biscotti che mangio in Danimarca anche mia suocera e’ MOLTISSIMO attenta alla qualita’ dei prodotti che usa (e’ la sola casa in cui ho visto il dentrificio biologico…). PS si lo zucchero ci vuole!! Ciao

  5. Orchidea
    Orchidea says:

    Anch’io abitando qui in Svezia sono presto venuta a contatto con questti biscotti tipici natalizi. E anch’io ho provato sia a farli con l’impasto già fatto, comprato nei superercati, sia facendoli “from scrach” da una ricetta presa su Internet. Bhè, in entrambi i casi ho notati che dopo alcuni giorni mi diventavano morbidi… non rimanevano duri come quelli che si comprano. E tu? Hai notato questa cosa?
    Vedo che la tua ricetta dei pepparkakor è ben rivisitata e mi sembra interessante.

    • Barbara
      Barbara says:

      ciao, piacere di conoscerti. in Svezia dove?
      questi che ho fatto anzi diventato anche piu’ croccanti e friabili con il passare dei giorni (provare per credere). sto avendo seri problemi a non finirli tutti subito 🙂

  6. Federica
    Federica says:

    Questi biscotti speziatissimi li adoro 😀 Ma ormai non è una novità che sono fissata per le spezie! Mi intriga la tua versione con la farina di cocco. E ti pare che non me la salvo :D? Ahhh come avrò da pasticciare bene questo week end 🙂 Un bacione, buona giornata

  7. Erin @ Texanerin Baking
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    Pepparkakor! I love them. And I love your pictures as well. And of course I love how healthy they are. 🙂

    You know what? I think the whole lagom thing is a bit… silly. Unless the concept has changed over the last 10 years. I just don’t get it. Although, I suppose I do see the point.

  8. Roz (@miabellavita)
    Roz (@miabellavita) says:

    My children have some Swedish blood in their lineage from their father. We make Swedish cookies every year for Christmas, especially kringla. Wonderful cookies come from Sweden! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

  9. Riikka
    Riikka says:

    A couple of years ago I made vegan pepparkakkor (or in Finnish.. pipari) using extra virgin coconut oil instead of butter. And some other healthier options that I don’t quite remember now.. maybe some rye flour and unrefined sugar. They were very traditional tasting, except a lot better! Not coconut-y at all. I like this recipe!! I hope I get to try it this year.

  10. Simona
    Simona says:

    While the mix of spices does not surprise me, the use of coffee does and it makes me curious. I thin you struck a balance between making the recipe healthier and preserving the essence of the cookie. I also have a heart-shaped mold that I love to use. I wish my cookies looked as nice as yours: I am not very good at making sure that the surface of my dough is nice and even before I cut.

  11. unoscoiattoloindispensa
    unoscoiattoloindispensa says:

    well, if the requirement for a present is to be lagom, then these cookies will get lots of presents… You might get less, for having lots and lots of people wish they could eat their screen 😛 Then again, you can always bribe Santa with the cookies 😉 Happy Xmas!

  12. Alida
    Alida says:

    these looks so pretty and elegant. I love simple biscuits like these especially when they taste of ginger too.
    The presentation is excellent as always. Bravissima! Buon Natale!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Recipe & Photo credit to […]

  2. […] 4. My Italian Smorgasbord har tagit en fantastisk bild på sina nyttiga pepparkakor. […]

  3. […] Piment-Hütchen und den anderen, üblichen Verdächtigen dieses Jahr auch schwedisches Pepparkakor. Dieses leckeres Rezept habe ich bei My Italian Smörgåsbord entdeckt und sofort nach gebacken habe – mit kleinen […]

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