You can buy these small cookies everywhere in Denmark before Christmas: in bakeries or in supermarkets. But of course, home made is the best. And it is easy to make.
Mix the ingredients: 280 g all purpose flour, 110 g sugar, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 orange's zest, 120 g butter, 1 egg. Let the dough stay for a couple of hours or an overnight. Cut it into 8 pieces and make about 2 cm diameter "snakes". Cut it about 1 cm thick pieces - they are like coins. Place them on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven on 200 ºC for about 10 minutes.
After cooling down, keep them in a metal box.
My kitchen turned into a gingerbread cookie factory a couple of days ago. I enjoyed the smell a lot and it was very relaxing, especially the last - decorating - part. Here is the recipe:
- Warm up 250 g honey and 120 g butter in a pot slowly and carefully while stirring, until it becomes liquid but not too hot.
- Measure 500 g white flour and 100 g icing sugar in a big bowl.
- Add 2 egg yolks, a pinch of salt, 1-1 tablespoon baking soda, cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground ginger, a pinch of ground cloves and nutmeg. You can also add zest of one lemon or orange if you have it around.
- Mix it well with the honey-butter liquid (I use my stand mixer).
- Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it stay in a cool place (not necessarily in a fridge) for a couple of hours or overnight.
- Roll the dough out to 5-7 mm thickness and use your favourite cookie cutters.
- Place the cookies about 10-15 mm apart on a baking tray - they are going to grow!
- Bake them in a preheated oven on 180 ºC for about 8-10 minutes.
- Wait a couple of minutes before removing them from the pan - they are very soft.
The white glaze:
- Beat 2 egg whites until it is thick and stiff.
- Go on with beating and add gradually 400 g icing sugar.
- Fill up an icing syringe and decorate the cookies.
The coloured glaze:
- Add some drops of food colour to the white glaze.
This is my Christmas postcard this year. "God jul" means "Merry Christmas" in Danish.
This is one example of how I use candied orange peel - not just around Christmas!
I usually prepare these buns for breakfast, that is why I make the dough in the evening before.
- Mix about 10 g yeast with a handful sugar very well in a bowl, until it becomes a brown liquid.
- Add about 2 dl water and mix it again.
- Measure about 400 g white flour in a big bowl (I use my stand mixer's metal bowl). A part of it (no more than 50%) can be whole flour, but it will result a dense dough.
- Add a pinch of salt, a tablespoon grained cardamom, a generous handful of diced candied orange peel and about 0,5 dl oil (sunflower or rapeseed oil is fine).
- Add the yeast-sugar-water mixture to it.
- Make a nice, soft dough. Add more water if it is necessary.
- Cover the dough with a wet tea towel and keep it in a warm place an overnight.
- Shape nice balls next morning. Place them on a baking tray and let them grow for about 20-30 minutes. (I place the tray in the oven and warm it up to 40 ºC.)
- Bake them for about 20 minutes at 190 ºC.
This is one of my favorite breakfasts. The original bun recipe was found in "Kager der smager" of Alette Bertelsen. I love this recipe because it is fast and simple. Though I make different variations week by week with cinnamon, raisins, nuts, almonds, cocoa…