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Pepparkakor (Ginger Cookies)

This recipe, from the late Johanna Wimberly of Hutto, is adapted from one brought by a Swedish immigrant to New Sweden, Texas, in 1893.

  • 3/4 c. shortening
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

Cream shortening with sugars, and beat until fluffy. Add egg and molasses, and beat well; set aside.Combine remaining ingredients, and gradually add to first mixture, mixing well.

Chill dough in refrigerator at least 2 hours.Working with half the dough at a time (leave rest refrigerated), roll dough to 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface, and cut into shapes, using heart-shaped and round (with scalloped edges) cookie cutters. (Dipping cookie cutters in flour helps dough to release.)

Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet in the middle of the oven, and bake in a 350-degree oven for 5-8 minutes, or until lightly browned (watch closely). Cool on wire racks.

Note: These cookies can also be made without rolling out the dough. Place walnut-sized balls of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and press each ball firmly with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Follow the same procedure as for rolled cookies, but bake for 8-12 minutes.

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