I read a lot about food from different countries. Part of it stems from having a father from Hungary and a mother whose roots span much of Central and Eastern Europe. Being Canadian, where unique cultures are encouraged and largely celebrated also contributes to my “global mind.”
I also talk to a lot of people on social media from around the world. I find there’s a lot more that we all share than what makes us differ. I have a few friends from Sweden who I chat with on a regular basis on Instagram. I’ve learned their version of the coffee break, fika. Fika is more than just a run through the express line at a coffee shop. It’s a time to truly take a break, chat with friends over coffee and a small treat.
Today I’m doing a variation of the Swedish version of gingersnaps, pepparkakor, making it a little chocolaty! And when you get a beautiful chocolate cookie, I think of the childhood classic, Oreo cookie.
Nowadays, the simple Oreo is full of “extra” ingredients that I don’t digest very well anymore, so I thought “What could be a tasty alternative to a traditional Oreo filling?” I decided a cannoli fit the bill perfectly!! Enjoy!!
For the Chocolate Pepparkakor (Swedish-style gingersnaps):
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
For the Cannoli Filling:
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup icing (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped
Add the brown sugar, white sugar, dark corn syrup and water to a medium pot over medium heat. When the sugar has melted, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the spices and baking soda. Slowly stir in the spelt flour and cocoa powder. Take off the heat, transfer to a lightly floured bowl, dust more flour lightly over the top and cover with a towel. Leave it on the counter to cool for a few hours, but preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Dust a large sheet of parchment paper lightly with flour. Divide the dough in half. Dust the top lightly with flour, lay it on the dusted parchment paper on the counter, cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll the dough out as thinly as possible. Cut out into various shapes using cookie cutters. For the traditional “Oreo look” use small round cutters.
Place the cut out cookie dough on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Transfer from the sheet to cooling racks.
Once the cookies are cool, stir together the cream cheese, icing sugar and chocolate chips. Spoon about a tablespoon of this filling on the bottom of one cooled cookie. Top with another cooled cookie. Prepare only the amount you are going to consume that day. The cookies can freeze for a month or more while the filling is good in the fridge for a week to ten days. Makes about 5 dozen small cookies and enough filling for about 2 dozen cookies. The rest of the cookies are great with coffee or tea.