Monday, November 17, 2014

Piparkakku, latest variation

It is the time of the year, again, and I couldn't help but start to bake piparkakku, of course.
Every evening my dearest family is munching loads of Finnish gingerbread, even though I tried hard to save some from being eaten and have a chance to decorate first.. I suppose I will just have to make larger batches.
It all starts by "which shape can we eat?", but then they'll take them all. *Sigh*..
Apologies for the image quality, I'll try to shoot a better with areal camera later, but at least I got the recipe up early, and there is plenty of time to bake them before December.

250 g butter
1.5 dl dark maple syrup (a bit more than a 1/2 cups)
2 dl sugar (a bit less than a cup)

2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger (I always add a bit less as it is a very strong taste, so play with it as you wish)
2 tsp cloves, ground

1 tsp cardamom (powder)
2 small eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda (kinda humpy)

500g all purpose flour

Melt the butter with the sugar, syrup and spices until just starts to bubble and is smooth, with both the sugar and butter melted. Remove from heat.
Start beating the two eggs, lightly until foamy, and add the butter-syrup-sugar mixture until well combined.
Fold in the flour, first about one third, mix until homogeneous, and slowly mix in the rest.
Put aside in the fridge for a night.

You can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze and bake at your own convenience.
If you freeze them, remember to remove it from the freezer about 3 hours before you want to use it, it takes minimum 2 hours to soften at room temperature.

Lightly flour the surface of the batter both beneath and on top, and roll it out thin, about 3-4 mm. As you roll add some more flour beneath, it is quite inconvenient to have the shapes stick to the bottom and come up in weird forms.
If you cut more than you can bake, put them in the fridge even for just minutes before they get baked, they will hold their shapes better.
Bake them at 400 F, 200 C, for 6-8 minutes in the middle rack.

I baked little Xmas trees from the cookies seen above on the right, and some Advent candle holders.
Not that we would be religious, but they just look so good as table decoration, don't they?
Place them in airtight containers, and they will be just as good even after 6 weeks. 
Happy baking!

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