Merry Christmas! It might be a little late in the season for another cookie recipe, but these are so good, you might want to consider making them for a Boxing Day or New Years get together, which is what I did. Or, there is always next year.
I’ve been on a Scandinavian kick lately. Maybe it’s our planned summer trip to Denmark and Norway. Maybe it’s because it is now winter, and I’ve fallen in love with all things hygge, the Danish and Norwegian word for cozy. You know – sheepskin rugs, wooly blankets, steaming hot mugs of coffee served with cardamom sweet buns… Then I wake up and realize it’s just a dream. Make these cookies and curl up in front of the fire with a cup of tea or coffee, a critter or two and you can live the dream too.
The key ingredient in this recipe is the bacon fat. Make the cookies with butter if you must, but you will be missing out on the vague smokiness that makes this cookie something different. There is a nice little kick from the ginger and molasses too. The first time I made these, I realized they were going to have to go into my annual Christmas baking rotation.
Swedish Ginger Cookies
Fry up a pound of good quality bacon, and save the fat for these cookies. Serve with a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea.
3/4 cup bacon fat
1 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup extra for rolling the cookies
4 tablespoons molasses
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the bacon fat and the sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer outfitted with a paddle. The fat mixture will stick to the sides of the bowl. Just use a spatula to push it back down before adding the molasses and egg and mixing it in. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Shape the dough into walnut-size balls and roll in the sugar. Place the cookies on baking sheets covered in parchment and use the palm of your hand to flatten them.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and cracked around the edges. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.
Adapted from Christmas with Martha Stewart Living