January/February 2016

By Gale Gand, Riverwoods Resident and Pastry Chef

When I had my tv show, Sweet Dreams on the Food Network, I had New York chef Marcus Samuelson on. He shared a recipe with me from his Swedish grandmother for these full-flavored, complex, chewy and moist spice cookies. Now I make them every year. I just love the bursts of orange flavor when I hit a chunk of orange rind.

Ground cardamom is sold in smaller quantities at Fresh Market in Lincolnshire. Candied orange peel is available unchopped at Fresh Farms in Wheeling.

Swedish Spiced Molasses Cookies

Makes 36 cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses (not Black Strap)
1 egg
2 – 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup chopped candied orange peel
1/2 cup sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the two sugars and cream the mixture. Add the molasses and egg and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, cloves, salt and white pepper. Add to the creamed butter mixture, mixing just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Mix in the candied orange peel. Cover dough and chill 1 hour to make it easier to handle. Roll into 1-inch balls and roll in remaining sugar. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan two inches apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are just set. Let cool slightly on the sheet pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

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