You’ve heard of tea & biscuits, but what about tea IN biscuits? Pepparkakor are a highly spiced gingerbread from Scandinavia that are, strictly speaking, Christmassy, but they’re so irresistible I usually have them all year round. Unfortunately I’ve never managed to make them taste anywhere near as good as the shop-bought ones, despite several attempts with various recipes, god knows what their secret is. These are something different - they still don’t beat the professionals but a nice twist on the original.
I came up with this idea as I was making my way full steam through a packet with a cup of lapsang tea and thought how great the smokey flavour of the tea went with the cloves and cinnamon. Here is the child of that sacred union. I’m using Swedish deciliter measurements as they are handy for those of us in student accommodation with limited kitchen equipment, all you need is a measuring jug.
- 2 DL brown muscovado sugar
- 0.8 DL water
- 0.8 DL golden syrup
- 150g butter
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp lapsang souchong tea leaves
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 8 DL flour
- zest of half an orange
Crush the orange zest and tea leaves together with a teaspoon of boiling water so the tea is ground to a relatively fine powder. Mix the syrup, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the butter and allow to melt, then add the spices and the orange and tea mixture. Let this cool.
Add the baking soda and 3/4 of the flour, form into a dough and put in the fridge in some clingfilm for a minimum of two hours, preferably overnight.
Heat the oven to 175 degrees and knead the dough on a floured surface for a while to soften. Make sure you don’t use too much as you want your biscuits to be buttery, not dusty. Cold hands are a plus! Roll the dough out very thinly and cut into the festive shape of your choice. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
To serve, a cup of Earl Grey tea in which to dip your pepparkakor.