December 03, 2009

Gingerbread Cookies.

Gingerbread Cookies are very significant of the Holiday Season in Scandinavia. They exist in each of the countries of the North and to serve these during the month of December is an old tradition, that stretches back centuries.

The cookies carry different names depending on the country. In Denmark they are called "brunkager" or "peberkager", which translated something like "brown cookies" and "pepper cookies". The later does not signifies the presence of pepper in the dough, but an overall sense of a spicy cookie, with the prevealing taste of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Served preferably with Hot Spicy Wine (Mulled Wine) they are a common snack to be found in Scandinavian homes and workplaces throughout December, easily available in all supermarkets and grocery stores, in multitude of varieties.
It is also often a family tradition to bake gingerbread cookies for Christmas and it is very exciting particularly for children to participate in the preparation.

However, once the Holidays end, the gingerbread cookies likewise disappear. They are not available for purchase any longer, nor are they usually served ever again during any other time of the year.

34 comments :

Susan Deborah said...

Yummm. Its raining here. The cookies would be a treat!

Joy always,
Susan

Kat_RN said...

My Sweet Hubby makes lovely fat gingerbread. I can't wait. There is a type of ginger cookie available here year round called "Ginger Snaps". They are thin and crispy and no where near as good.
Hope you are warm and cozy,
Kat

Kath said...

Ooh I love Ginger. I buy ginger biscuits topped with dark chocolate yumee. Just the thing for grey English days!

steviewren said...

I used to make Gingerbread (cake) every Christmas and somehow I got out of the habit. I've been thinking that I would make it again this year. It is dark and rich and buttery.

As for cookies, one year when my son's were young we made gingerbread men cookies for one's birthday instead of cake. I still remember making the pattern for the cookies. I had the story about the Gingerbread man in mind when we made them. I love Ginger Snaps. They are spicy and crispy.

Julie Hibbard said...

Gingerbread cookies are my favorite!! I have made them for years, starting back when my kids and nieces and nephews were little in the shape of gingerbread men.
LOVE the unique flavor and all the shapes they come in too--like no other cookie!
Interestingly, the only place I have been able to find them throughout the year is in the little store in front of IKEA.
Even more enjoyable for me with a bit of Egg Nog. Something else that can really only be found at this glorious time of year!
Enjoy those cookies!

Betsy said...

I love gingerbread! Yours here are pretty with their scalloped edges! They would be perfect with a cup of tea! I usually bake soft gingerbread men in December, too. I think it's the wonderful smell that we love so much!

swenglishexpat said...

Why did you have to write about "pepparkakor"? Rubbing salt in the wound like that. We were at IKEA in Duesseldorf yesterday, and they had RUN OUT OF them. Disaster. Also no little tea lights, the white ones, just coloured and perfumed ones. Ggrrr!

Helen McGinn said...

We're huge fans of ginger cookies; Lucy in particular likes the lovely tins you get from Ikea, filled with the thin, crispy kind, like in your picture. I love them too but am happy with the British version, the plain old Ginger Nut! Kinda fitting for me... ;O)

Claus said...

A little secret: I have never tried gingerbread cookies!!! :-O
I'm fairly new to the world of baking, which though easy to many, to me it's like a whole new science :-), so I think I would most likely buy them. I love cookies!, chocolate one specially, but I haven't seen any gingerbread ones around. It will become my mission: I will find gingerbread cookies this weekend somehow (have a place thought already). Season's Greetings!

Myussop said...

Dear Zuzana,
You'll be surprised to know that I have a major weakness for ginger cookies.Just the other day my sister-in-law who happened to be in the Sultanate of Brunei ( our neighbouring country, 3-hours drive from Bintulu)brought me ginger cookies from there because in Sarawak it is very very difficult to find them.In Bintulu, you'll die searching. Well despite its difficultness I'll always love them for their gingery and spicy taste and fond memories of my grandpa who love them too.It's interesting to know that in Scandanavia its a X'mas sort of thing.(Note: I still keep one last piece of ginger cookie in the bottle at the next table. I'll take it once I upload my comments. Bye and your post is just great).

Bachelor said...

Zuzana,
Thank you for you Scandinavian history on the gingerbread cookies.
LadyCat and I must serve these at our Christmas gatherings this year...and of course, in honor of you!....
Have a great day!
The Bach

Bachelor said...

s/b "your" Scandinavian history..in previous comment...
:)

Nessa said...

i like the idea of gingerbread cookies but they aren't really a favorite. My dad makes molasses cookies which are very yummy.

Name That Christmas Song

Keith said...

I love gingerbread cookies. My mom makes them quite often. I definitely hope she'll make some for Christmas. I'm listening to my Dean Martin Christmas CD as I blog this morning.

Sandi McBride said...

Our cookie exchange is December 19th...I make Gingerbread men each time. I can't wait for the smells to fill the house!
Great post...
Sandi

Brian Miller said...

i absolutley love ginger snaps...i will eat them until my tongue tingles...and tis the season!

Cottage Garden said...

I'm really behind with my commenting this week - I don't know where the week has gone!

Anyway gingerbread cookies? Yes, love 'em. All those wonderful spices like cinnamon, clove and ginger always make me think of Christmas; just the smell is enough as it wafts throuh the kichen. Delicious! Its interesting that in Scandinavia once the Christmas season is over these little cookies disappear from the shops. It keeps the tradition special then I think...

Jeanne x

Rosezilla said...

Oh, I love ginger snaps, and it is hard to get good ones. I think the best ones I had were from Williamsburg, Virginia - or maybe it was when we were in St. Augustine, Florida? And there was a Swedish store that sold good ones... Every Christmas the boys and I used to make thick gingerbread men, along with all kinds of other shapes, and decorate them with colored icing and things. Fun! Not by myself, though... maybe with grandkids some day?

sprinkles said...

We have gingerbread snap cookies here. They're quite good but I don't eat them often because they're so hard.

Most Christmas Eve's, my parents and I will go looking at Christmas lights around the neighborhood. When we return, we'll each have a peice of gingerbread cake with whipped cream on top. Soooooo yummy!!!

GYPSYWOMAN said...

nothing quite says the christmas holidays like gingerbread cookies - and nothing at all says lovin' like something from the oven! the perfect gift, for sure!

♥Mimi♥ said...

There are so many delicious goodies that we only see once a year...sigh. Every year when I make a particular dish or dessert I tell myself that I should make it more often and then - well, I don't know what happens - I just don't make it again until the following year. Maybe that is what makes the flavor of the cookie or dish so delicious and special - it's not something that is common but very, very special.

staceyjwarner said...

so interesting that they aren't served again until the next holiday season...

much love

Calli said...

Love gingerbread cookies! I sadly admit I have not baked them myself, but we do enjoy them every so often throughout the year.

I do so enjoy hearing about different traditions, different cultures...brings such a sense of wonder!
Thank you, Zuzana!
xo

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Ginger-anything!!!! -Jayne

Doreen said...

we have gingersnaps here on our grocery shelves. I believe you can get them year round.

an acquired taste for sure!

Beverlydru said...

I'll put this on my list of traditions I'd like to begin with my little Rosebud. How fun!

Jacki said...

Hmmm....I can smell them from here!

Just today I was thinking about making æbleskiver and got very excited about it. I love all the Christmas goodies.

Holly said...

I love Gingerbread cookies!! Although I love all cookies! I love food and I tend to eat far far too much of it during this season!!:):)(Which then leads to an extra hour here and there on the eliptical,...aargh...the ultimate suffering.;)) You know what I would like for Christmas?? A little self control. hahaha!

I love all of your interesting perspective. I will think of you next week when I am wrapping up a bunch of brunkager cookies for my neighbors. xoxox

Noelle Chantal said...

served with hot spicy wine, hmmm.. i think i need to try that one! but before that, i need to learn how to cook and to bake!! kitchen hates me, Protege!! i'm a disaster when it comes to cooking. haha!

those gingerbread cookies looks really yummy esp when served during the holiday season. :)

plus, i love the new layout and the new blog title. very nice! i just noticed it right now, 'cause i was so busy and excited to read all you previous posts hehe.

have a great day! :)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Oohh,Zuzana, those look so good. We have tried every kind of ginger cookie imaginable. None of them come close to "peberkager" or "pepparkakor. We had a widow neighbor who used to bake them and bring to us fresh. So thin.So light. So crisp. Comparing store bought cookies with fresh baked is like comparing fresh made pasta with canned pasta. Or fresh fruit with canned fruit. I think I can smell them from here.

Hazel Designs said...

Mmmmmm, these look so delicious!

Protege said...

Susan, Kat, Kath, Stevie, Julie, Betsy, swenglishexpat, Helen, Claudia, Mahmud, Bachelor, Nessa, Keith, Sandi, Brian, Jeanne, Rosezilla, sprinkles, GYPSYWOMAN, Mimi, Stacey, Calli, Jayne, Doreen, Beverlydru, Jacki, Holly, Noelle, Richard and Hazel; thank you all so very much for taking the time to stop by and for leaving such kind comments. Your words are always very appreciated and they make my day; thank you all!
Xoxo
Zuzana

Hilary said...

Drool! I like gingerbread. You even manage to find a mosaic type serviette on which to lay the cookies. ;)

Protege said...

=Hilary,
yes, they are delicious.;) Glad you enjoyed my photographic designs.;) xo