Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pepparkakor, Portal 2 Style

You should know I like to play games. All types of video or board games. Portal 2 is one of my very favorites because it’s full of what I love: puzzles, lasers, a deranged robotic enemy, and
cooperative play. Games are more fun when you share them with other people.

Baking is a game. It has rules to follow (or break), puzzles to solve, sweet rewards, and it’s more fun when you share.

My good friend, Matt, gave me Portal 2 cookie cutters for Christmas. (I mean, seriously, how cool is that?) It doesn’t matter that the holidays have passed. There’s always room for one more batch of Pepparkakor when I have Portal 2 cookie cutters to use. Pepparkakor is the best cookie to make with these because the black pepper bites back—not unlike GLaDOS. Spicy and not too sweet, they’re a perfect post-holiday combination to pass around.

Makes 2-3 dozen

1/3 cup butter, real or vegan
120g brown sugar
75g white sugar (vanilla, if you have it)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 small egg
1/4 cup (100g) molasses
120g sorghum flour
100g sweet rice flour
60g tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Day 1
Cream together butter, sugars, and lemon zest. Beat in egg until smooth. Stir in molasses. Add all the dry ingredients and mix well into a uniform dough. It will be soft and sticky. Scoop out onto waxed paper, roll into a log, and refrigerate to roll out the next day. You may also freeze it; try to use the dough within about a month of making it.

Day 2
If your dough is frozen, let it rest at room temperature at least 1 hour before working with it. You may use it immediately from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dust a smooth surface with sweet rice flour. Cut off about 1/4 – 1/3 of the dough to work with at a time. Form into a disk, dust with more sweet rice flour, and roll out very thin, about 1/8-inch. Cut into shapes and arrange on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. You may reform and roll out the scraps one time, but after that it’ll be too stiff with flour to bake a good cookie. Bake 8-10 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to brown at the edges. Cool completely before decorating with colored frosting or glaze.

Basic Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp lemon juice, Grand Marnier, or coconut milk (more as needed, depending on desired consistency)
Food coloring (optional)

Mix together powdered sugar and some liquid, stirring and adding liquid until all powdered sugar is incorporated and glaze is desired thickness. Drizzle from a fork or scoop into a plastic bag and snip off the tip to give a more controlled line.

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