Gingerbread Cookies and Coffee

Posted on December 5, 2010 by

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Advent has always been an important tradition in my house. My childhood was filled with planning which baked goods would be served every Sunday during December, and using the same special trays and napkins that indicated that we were in the midst of the holiday season. For me, December is all about light. The first weekend of Advent my mother would always put me outdoors to find moss to fill the advent candelabra, and I was given the duty of carefully lighting a new candle every Sunday until we could finally light all four of them the last weekend before Christmas. Some Sundays she would host an official Advent coffee, setting the table with the same red tablecloth and special coffee cups.

Tradition is a funny thing. Without the traditional set of advent decoration — which I’m certain is fully up at my parents’ house — I still fill compelled to light a candle and take a moment to celebrate. I still feel compelled to make sure I have at least one kind of holiday themed baked good. And I certainly better get on the glögg making, because it’s not December without it. These are things that are a must during this month, no matter where I am.

So today for the second of Advent, a quiet Sunday with the sun attempting to peak through the branches, it was time for franska pepparkakor and kaffe. Weekend staples this month.

Franska Pepparkakor – French Gingerbread Cookies adapted from Sju Sorters Kakor

Note: I actually have no idea why these are called “French,” for me they pretty much represent Swedish Christmas. My grandmother made them when my mother was a child, and she continued the tradition. They’ve been on every Christmas table at my house since I can remember.

  • 1 cup almonds, chopped
  • 200 g butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. black peppar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups flour

Cream butter, sugar and molasses.

Mix dry ingredients with almonds, then combine with butter, sugar and molasses. Knead together with your hands.

Roll dough into cylinders, about 12 inches long and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Bake at 380 for 10-12 minutes.

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