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Milk Street: The New Home Cooking

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Ginger and pepper add a spicy kick to holiday cookies

Swedish Ginger Snaps (Pepparkakor)

3½ hours 30 minutes active, plus cooling

For these cookies, we needed to balance dark brown and white sugar to get a workable dough that crisped properly. Baking soda helped browning and gave the cookies lift, making them crunchy but not hard. The pepparkakor’s distinctive spice came from ground and fresh ginger, black pepper and cayenne (optional). To avoid rolling out and stamping the dough, we rolled it into balls and used the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten them into rounds. The dough can be made up to two days in advance. The cookies keep for up to a week in an airtight container.

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