This is one of my favorite traditional Swedish Christmas cookies. I make it as an advent treat every year.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Zest from one orange (about 1 1/5 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
14 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup water
Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Put the butter and spices in another large mixing bowl and set aside.
Cook sugar, syrup, and water in a small saucepan until barely boiling. Be careful not to overcook the sugar mixture or your cookies will be rock hard. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the butter and spices. Stir until the butter has melted. Cool. Run the mixture through a sieve to remove the orange zest (if you hate the look of zest in your cookies like I do).
Mix the flour mixture into the cooled spice mixture. Dough will be smooth and soft. Let dough rest on the counter for several hours or overnight (but once it’s cool, make sure it’s sealed in a tupperware or ziploc). Roll out dough fairly thin and cut out with cookie cutters. Place the cookies on cold cookie sheets with parchment paper. Bake the cookies at 400F (oven temp is important!) for 5-8 minutes in the center of the oven. Check often, they burn easily.