Or the Swedish version of gingerbread. Except it’s peppery. But it’s still a yummy Christmas biscuit. And wonderfully simple to make.


The lighter ones are the pfeffekakor; the darker ones, um, slightly crispified treacle-gingerbread. Recipe for that one next week.


200g plain flour

half tsp bicarb. of soda

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

half tsp ground black pepper

zest of one orange (preferably fresh; I used candied peel)

150g caster sugar

115g unsalted butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tbsp treacle

Oven: 325F/160C/Gas Mark 3 (but don’t preheat immediately – it’ll need chilling for an hour or so before baking)

Mix together all the ingredients so that it forms a soft dough, then wrap in cling-film and chill for about an hour until firm.

Roll out until so thick, use whichever cookie-cutter comes to hand, and cut out shapes until all the dough is used up. You can nibble that last little bit that always gets left over if you like. Or make an extra teeny biscuit to eat straight from the oven. Testing for poison or quality control.

Bake for about 10 minutes/until dark golden brown and firm.

Allow to cool before eating.

(I don’t actually know if this is a proper Swedish recipe for pfefferkakor – my Swedish recipe books are all in my more extensive library somewhere else. This was in a book under the title “Swedish pepper cookies”.)

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