Category: Historical cooking

Pebernødder anno 1731

We have a recipe for the Danish Christmas cookie pebernødder from 1731. Here is both the original Danish recipe, my translation and an adapted printable version.

Pebernødder, 1731
“Tag et pund Pudder-Sucker, et pund fint Hvedemeel, fem Eg, et Lod Cardemomme, et lod Caneel og Muskatteblomme tilsammen, et half Lod Aniis, lidet Peber, tre Lod Suckat, to Lod Citronskaller og mæng alt dette tilsammen og bag det.”
– En Høy-Fornemme Madames Kaagebog, 1731

In English:

Take one pound (467,7g) of brown sugar, one pound of wheat flour, five eggs, a weight (14,6g) of cinnamon, a weight of mace, half a weight of anise, a bit of pepper, three weights of sugar, two weights of grated lemon zest and mix it all together and bake it.

Pebernødder (peppernuts)

A traditional Danish (and German) Christmas cookie that dates back at least to the renaissance. This is not the old recipe though but the modern one we tend to bake for Christmas in my family. This is a large portion, but you can make a smaller portion if you really want to.

Oatmeal klatkager

Pancakes made from oatmeal or similar porridge. A leftover dish that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack in the afternoon.

Serve them with cheese, fruit or jam.

Fresh buttermilk cheese

A soft fresh cheese made from buttermilk, seasoned with herbs. In Danish it is called “knapost” and is a traditional cottage cheese.

Barley crackers

Crackers baked on a dry skillet or a hot stone next to the campfire. You can also bake them on a pizza stone but they might raise a little in the hot oven.

Layers for the layered cakes

For danish layered cakes the layers needs to be quite thin – around 1 cm high at the most, unlike most American layered cakes. This means that you properly need to make the layers your self, if the store don’t sell any layers that thin.

Damper

A damper is an Austrian bread type that as far as I know has its origin in the colony area. It is a very quick bread. You just throw the ingredients together and then bake it right away. It can very easily be baked in a frying pan over a campfire.

Variation

I often bake the bread with a mix of flour. At least 1/3 wheat flour to let the bread raise but the rest can be quite coarse flour such as barley, rye or spelt. With other flour types I would probably stick to 2/3 wheat and  1/3 random flour. You can also add seeds or grains to the bread, just make sure to soak them first. As for spices I have tried cumin, fresh time, italian seasoning (oregano, basil, rosemary, time) or pepper (lots of pepper).