Pepper Cookies (Pebernødder)

The most original northern Christmas cookie is the pepper cookie. Before the modern stowe, this was the only cookie you were able to make yourself for Christmas.

The original recipe originates from Germany in the fifteenhundreds  and was made with rye flour, honey and strong spices.

My favorite recipe is from the fantastic Danish bakery Lagkagehuset (The Layered Cake House). The smell, taste and consistensy is perfect and children can easily make them.

Pepper Cookies (about 300 pieces)

  • Butter (2 cups/250 gr.)
  • Sugar (2 cups./250 gr.)
  • Whipping Cream (3.5 fl. oz./1 dl.)
  • Plain flour (18 oz./500 g.)
  • Ground ginger (1 tsp.)
  • Cinnamon (1 tsp.)
  • White or black pepper (1 tsp.) Black pepper will give you a little more umf, which in my opinion is a good thing.
  • Cardamom (1 tsp.)
  • Baking powder (1 tsp.)
  • Baking soda (1 tsp.)

Pepper BisquitsI often use gloves when I bake. This makes it possibly to attend to children in need in an instant. Make sure to use Nitrile rubber gloves approved for food contact. You can get them at about $0.2 a pair and though not as stretchy as rubber, they have a perfect fit.

20151124_203046_resizedWhip butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Whip the cream in at low settings. Mix spices, baking powder and baking soda into the flour and mix everything together. Roll the dough into sausages (thick as a finger) and cut in small pieces. Roll them into small balls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 7-10 minutes at 400 ºF/200 ºC.

You can freeze the dough for later use. If you flatten the bag it will take up less room in your freezer and will defrost quicker.

Eat them all yourself or give them to friends and family in jars or Danish woven Christmas hearts. Or you can play mouse.

Mouse – a Christmas game

Place a row of cookies on the table. One kid leaves the room and the others name one of the cookies “Mouse” The child is called back in and is allowed to eat until he/she picks the Mouse. At this point everyone yells MOUSE and a new kid leaves the room.

What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Danish Woven Christmas Hearts – patterns made with Microsoft office tools

The woven Christmas heart is a Danish tradition founded by H.C. Andersen in the 1860s. The kindergartens helped spread the hearts (around 1910), as it was used to strengthen the children’s creative skills, patience, fine motor skills and self-discipline.

Danish Christmas hearts are woven with two pieces of folded glossy paper traditionally in red and white, but you can chose whatever colors you like.

I find it a lot easier and faster to print the pattern directly on the glossy paper than the old fashioned method where you first make a cardboard template.

  1. Find a template (on google images) that you like. If you are doing this with children or are a beginner or just not that patient, choose a simple classic pattern.
  2. Use a snipping tool to cut around the image (I use the free Microsoft snipping tool).Skærmbillede 2015-11-16 09.58.27
  3. Copy-Past the image into Microsoft word. Change the size to your desire. I use about 9×13 cm (in 3.5×5).Skærmbillede 2015-11-16 10.02.50
  4. Paste the pattern twice to Microsoft paint. Right click on one of the patterns and rotate it 180 degrees. Depending on the pattern you may need to also mirror. If your are making a simple pattern and want to cut with scissors, you only need to paste the pattern once.Skærmbillede 2015-11-16 09.59.15
  5. Align the two patterns.Skærmbillede 2015-11-16 09.59.40
  6. Print the template directly on glossy paper with the lowest quality (you don’t want the ink showing through the finished heart). Make sure that you are printing on the backside of the paper.
  7. Cut out the pattern with a pair of scissors (you can fold the template in the middle for easier cutting) or with a scalpel which is necessary when your are making more advanced hearts.
  8. Now braid
  9. Remember to attach a handle.
  10. Fill it with treats and hang it from the Christmas tree.

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Merry Christmas