Kirsten’s Pepparkakor Cookie Recipe – American Girl

Get ready to be blown away by this Pepparkakor cookie recipe. These Swedish cookies are like gingerbread’s crispier cousin. With flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and maple syrup all swirled together, these may become your go-to Christmas cookies.

Celebrate the holidays with these Swedish spice cookies

Celebrate the holidays with these Swedish spice cookies

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by 19th-century American pioneers. Frontierland was my favorite land at Disneyland, and Kirsten was my favorite American Girl. I loved all of the American Girl dolls and their accompanying books, but when I was 7 years old and asked Santa for an American Girl doll, I asked specifically for Kirsten, who was a Swedish-American pioneer. That doll was my very favorite possession from that time forward, and I still keep her in my home, hoping to pass her down to a hypothetical future daughter or granddaughter.

Kirsten's Pepparkakor Cookies

Kirsten’s Pepparkakor Cookies

Kirsten’s cookbook was one of the many Kirsten accessories I collected as a child, and it’s a cookbook I still have and use to this day. The Pepparkakor cookie recipe I’m sharing with you today is from this cookbook, and it is such a favorite recipe of my family’s that the book automatically opens to the right page after all these years of wear and tear. This book is falling apart at the seams, but that just shows you how delicious these recipes are.

Have you ever seen such a well-loved cookbook?

Have you ever seen such a well-loved cookbook?

Without further ado, here is the recipe, adapted from the American Girls Pastimes Kirsten’s Cook Book.

Kirsten’s Pepparkakor Cookie Recipe – American Girl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Mix in the egg, maple syrup, and water.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger, and beat together until just incorporated.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour.
  5. Divide the dough into two, and roll out each section one after the other.
  6. Roll the dough nice and thin, about 1/8 inch thick.
  7. Use cookie cutters to cut out individual cookies (I used Christmas cookie cutters to be festive!).
  8. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes.

The resulting cookies are to die for. Seriously, even if you’re not an American Girl fan, do yourself a favor and make these cookies.

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Calormen Saddlebag Provisions – The Chronicles of Narnia

In honor of the #AslansFeast Narnia recipe link-up hosted by Alison’s Wonderland Recipes, I’m writing up a menu from one of my very favorite Narnia books.

This Narnia menu is inspired by a scene from The Horse and His Boy. A large portion of this book takes place in Calormen, which is one of the other countries in the Narnia world. The main character, Shasta, escapes from his abusive adoptive father and also helps Bree, an enslaved talking Narnian horse, to escape with him. Once they get on their way, Shasta becomes hungry, so Bree suggests they look in his saddlebags, leftover from his former owner.

“They investigated the saddle-bags and the results were cheering — a meat pasty, only slightly stale, a lump of dried figs and another lump of green cheese, a little flask of wine, and some money…”

The Horse and His Boy

Journey from Calormen to Narnia and beyond with this delicious menu

Journey from Calormen to Narnia and beyond with this delicious menu

The meat pasty was the easiest part of this menu to come up with, and you can find a link to the recipe I used below.

As for the “green cheese,” I had to do a little bit of research. When I first read this description, I thought it meant a lump of cheese that was green in color. After researching a bit, I discovered that, in the cheese-making industry, “green” means “new” or “fresh,” meaning that it is unaged. This sounded much more appetizing to me that literal green cheese. Some “green” cheeses include queso fresco, ricotta and paneer. Since ricotta and paneer tend to be a little wetter, it makes them hard to carry around in a saddlebag, so I went with a lump of queso fresco cheese.

I have a little confession to make regarding the dried figs. The dried fruit you see in these photos are prunes, not dried figs. I ordered dried figs from the Walmart grocery pick-up app along with some other groceries, and when I arrived to pick up my groceries, the employee loading up my car said, “I’m sorry, we had to make a substitution. We were all out of dried figs, so we gave you prunes instead…” Well, I didn’t want to be “that person,” so I just said, “Sure, okay.” It’s all dried fruit, am I right? So anyway, if you want to be more authentic, you can find actual dried figs. Or, you can be lazy like me and just use any old dried fruit. 🙂

I used grape juice instead of wine, since I do not drink alcohol, but feel free to make substitutions for your own personal Calormenian feast.

Calormen Saddlebag Provisions – Narnia Menu

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money!

 

Calormen Saddlebag Provisions

Meat Pasty Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

 

In The Horse and His Boy, which is one of the lesser known books in the Chronicles of Narnia series, a young boy named Shasta escapes from his abusive adoptive father and helps a free Narnian talking horse named Bree along the way. Shasta is from Calormen, which is a land in the same world as Narnia. When Bree and Shasta escape, they find some food and money in Bree’s saddle bags to help them along the way. One of those items is a meat pasty.

Fuel up for the journey back to Narnia with this meat pasty recipe.

Fuel up for the journey back to Narnia with this meat pasty recipe.

This meat pasty recipe is an adaptation of this Cornish pasty recipe I found from BBC Good Food. Since C.S. Lewis was British, I figured adapting a British recipe was the way to go. This recipe was fairly easy and it turned out delicious. I used ground beef, but the book doesn’t specify what kind of meat is in the pasty, so I think you could use any kind of meat and still be authentic.

Calormenian Meat Pasty Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 pie crusts (I used store-bought refrigerated pie crust to save time)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large pan, and drain off the excess grease.
  2. Add the diced potato and diced carrot to the pan.
  3. Add the flour to the pan, and stir until the flour is incorporated.
  4. Pour the beef broth into the pan, and add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  5. Heat the mixture on the stove for about 15 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Stir occasionally to keep the food from burning on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Cut out 6 circles of pie crust, about 6 inches across.
  7. Place a few spoonfuls of the beef mixture towards the edge of each of the pie crust pieces.
  8. Brush the edges of the pie crust with egg, and fold the edges over the beef mixture, sealing the edges tight.
  9. Place the pasties on a cookie sheet, and brush the tops with egg.
  10. Cook the pasties for 25 minutes at 375 degrees F.

These meat pasties can be eaten either warm or cold. While I prefer to eat them warm, Shasta definitely ate them cold in the book, so that’s what you’ll want to do if you want to be authentic to the book. Enjoy, whether you find yourself in Calormen or Narnia.

meat-pasty-from-calormen2

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra.

Banana Almond Bread Recipe – Redwall

Nut breads make many appearances throughout the Redwall series, and it makes sense. Squirrels, mice, and other small critters do eat a lot of nuts and seeds. This banana almond bread was inspired by the nut bread Matthias eats for breakfast in the first Redwall book.

As a kid, I was never a fan of banana nut bread, but then I realized that it was the walnuts everybody used that I didn’t like. Banana bread is delicious, but I am not a fan of walnuts. So, when I decided to make a nut bread inspired by Redwall, I set out to find a recipe that used a different kind of nut. I found all sorts of interesting recipes, including a coconut bread with macadamia nuts, which sounded amazing, but I figured macadamia nuts were a little too exotic for Redwall. I finally settled on a banana almond bread recipe from Your Cup of Cake. I altered the recipe a bit to fit my needs. First, I incorporated the almonds into the bread itself, whereas the original recipe put the almonds on the top. Second, I divided the recipe in half to make only one loaf instead of two.

Cook up a loaf of this banana almond bread for the perfect Redwall breakfast.

Cook up a loaf of this banana almond bread for the perfect Redwall breakfast.

Banana Almond Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until well incorporated.
  2. Add the egg, and mix until fluffy
  3. Pour the milk and flavor extracts into the mix, and stir well.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just incorporated (don’t overmix!)
  5. Add the bananas and almonds and mix until you can’t see big chunks of banana anymore.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until cooked through and browned on top. If the bread starts to get too brown on top before it’s finished cooking in the middle, cover it with some foil for the duration of the cooking period.

Let me tell you, this almond bread smelled absolutely divine while it was baking, and it tasted amazing, too. I can’t wait to experiment with other nut breads in the future, perhaps for another Redwall breakfast menu!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from all sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Simple Redwall Breakfast Menu

Redwall is the first book in a long series by Brian Jacques. This series follows the mice, squirrels, hedgehogs, and other animals who live in the iconic Redwall Abbey. It is one of my favorite series, and I just love to get lost in its world. In the Redwall series, food is practically a supporting character. Mr. Jacques describes the food in great detail, and it really gives the reader a good idea of what life is like at the Redwall Abbey and beyond.

Sometimes Redwall Abbey hosts great feasts, but other times characters dine on simpler fare. Such is the case with this Redwall breakfast menu. This is one of the breakfasts that Matthias, the main character in the first book, eats while he tries to figure out how to defend Redwall Abbey from Cluny the Scourge.

Fuel up for the day with this Redwall breakfast.

Fuel up for the day with this Redwall breakfast.

The creatures of Redwall Abbey are pescatarians, meaning they do not eat meat, but they do eat fish. Their diet mainly consists of foods made with nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. This particular meal consists of nut bread, apples, and fresh goat’s milk. If you’re not a fan of goat’s milk, I’m sure substituting cow’s milk or a non-dairy milk would still be in the spirit of Redwall.

Redwall Breakfast Menu

Check out the recipe I used for banana almond bread, or make your own nut bread. Since the book was non-specific as to what kind of nut bread Matthias ate, you can have some fun with it and use your imagination. Use any kind of nut you choose. You can also make pumpkin nut bread or coconut nut bread, or another variation other than banana bread.

Pair your favorite nut bread with some fresh apples and a bowl (or cup) of goat’s milk to really transport yourself to Redwall Abbey. Yum!

redwall-breakfast-menu

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Beorn’s Twice-Baked Honey Cakes – The Hobbit

When I decided to do a full menu based on the food that Beorn provides for the company in The Hobbit, I knew that twice-baked honey cakes had to be on the menu. As I was researching, I found many different versions of the honey cake recipe, but a lot of them were not very true to the book. They either were not twice baked, as the book states, or they had frosting and other messy things on them that would not travel well. And these cakes, after all, were created in the book specifically with travel in mind.

Beorn's Twice-Baked Honey Cakes are perfect for adventures!

Beorn’s Twice-Baked Honey Cakes are perfect for adventures!

Finally, I found a couple recipes that were perfect. I based my recipe for Beorn’s twice-baked honey cakes on these two recipes from Food in Literature and Kitchen Overlord. I used elements from both these recipes and made a few adjustments of my own to come up with the following recipe:

Beorn’s Twice-Baked Honey Cakes Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Extra honey, as a glaze

Directions

  1. Mix the softened butter and the honey together until well incorporated.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and blend well.
  6. Shape the dough into small cakes (I used a brownie edge pan, pictured below. Best invention ever!)twice-baked-cakes
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  8. Take the cakes out of the pan and place them on a cookie sheet.
  9. Brush the tops of the cakes with honey, and let the honey soak in for a minute.
  10. Bake the cakes for 10 more minutes on each side.

The honey will harden into a sweet glaze as it bakes, and the cakes will have a nice firm crust, perfect for taking with you on adventures. I believe these cakes are something Beorn himself would be proud of!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Don’t worry, though, this costs you nothing extra!