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  • 1/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon each ground cardamom, ground coriander seed and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4-1/3 cup water
  • For decorating: decorative icing, pecans, dried fruit and dragees and possibly thin decorative cord or ribbon


  1. Cream butter, shortening and brown sugar together in a medium bowl, beating until fluffy. Add spices; beat well.
  2. Add baking soda, salt, flour, cider vinegar and just enough water to make a smooth, pliable dough. Roll into a ball. Chill 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Press ball into a disk and roll out on a lightly floured board, to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes; transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet, placing cookies about ½ to ¾ inch apart. Chill dough in between batches. 4. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks. Decorate.
Recipe by Crescent Dragonwagon

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The recipe was originally published as Finnish Gingerbread Men (Pepparkakor) on

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