This year Expedia have been running a World on a Plate challenge for bloggers, where bloggers recreate a recipe from a favourite part of the world. A few weeks ago Expedia got in touch and invited me to take part in the Christmas version of the challenge. Where would I choose?
I browsed the destinations on Expedia's site and quickly settled on Finland, as it's somewhere I'd love to go again one day. Quite a few years ago now we spent three days in Helsinki as part of our Baltic tour, in between spending time in Tallinn, Estonia and St Petersburg in Russia. It was a bit of a whistle-stop tour on trains, planes and hovercrafts... One day I'll dig out the photos and share them here, but in the meantime back to the biscuits.
Pepperkaker gets its name from the black pepper that was traditionally used along with the other spices - ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, which gives the biscuits a warming taste. I mostly followed Signe Johansen's recipe from her Scandilicious Baking book which does include some pepper, but needed to make some tweaks as I had less treacle than I thought!
After mixing the dough I wrapped it in clingfilm and left it in the fridge overnight. Signe says it can also be frozen to use at a later stage, but let's face it that was never going to happen! I discovered the thinner you roll out the dough, the crispier the biscuit. I found it hard to roll it so thin though without rolling it out on baking paper and instead of picking the biscuits up to put on the baking sheet, removing the offcuts instead.
I used a variety of cutters for my biscuits: snowflakes, hearts and stars. Some I cut the middle out of and these worked well, for others I indented a shape in the centre of the biscuit. Once the biscuits had cooled I iced some of the biscuits - it is Christmas after all!