A few weeks ago, my friend Vixie and I went to an afternoon tea put on by Visit Sweden. Or rather, an afternoon coffee – fika, as it is called in Sweden.
The tradition in Sweden evolved to serve seven different kinds of biscuit with afternoon coffee, so we were presented with seven kinds of delicious Swedish biscuit to try.
My favourite was the Skurna Pepparkakor, and I managed to bully my gracious hosts into giving me the recipe!
Skurna pepparkakor – Cut gingerbread cookies
These are superb what with the piquant accent of orange peel in the dough adding a touch of finesse at the coffee table or at a mulled wine party.
Makes approx. 60
225g soft unsalted butter
75g icing sugar
75g dark brown sugar
5g ground cinnamon
3g ground ginger
3g ground cloves
250g plain white flour
1g bicarbonate of soda
100g unshelled whole almonds
50g chopped candied orange peel
1. Bring the butter to room temperature and sift the icing sugar. Add the dark brown sugar and spices.
2. Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and mix into a pliable dough.
3. Finally, mix in the almonds and orange peel.
4. Shape the dough into logs, 3cm wide and 6cm high.
5. Freeze the logs for 2 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
7. With a very sharp knife, cut the dough into slices weighing approx. 12g and lay them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
8. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
Sweden is such a beautiful country, the fact that the food is also excellent is icing on the cake – literally! I’m desperate to get back there one day. If you want to go, Visit Sweden are running a competition at the moment, all you have to do is “like” this Facebook page.
Vixie blogged about the fika too – read her post here. Her blog is awesome.