3-4cupspowdered sugar, or more if planning to cover the whole cookie.
water, to thin
a few drops food coloring (optional)
pearl sprinkles (optional)
For the cookies
Add the sugar, honey, and milk to a small saucepan. When measuring a "scant" cup of the honey and the milk, you want to it to be just under 1/2 cup, but not closer to 1/3 cup. If you can measure in milliliters, its exactly 100 milliliters.
Bring to a boil then turn off the heat and let cool slightly.
Add the butter and the spices to a mixing bowl, and pour the warm syrup mixture over them. Mix until the butter is melted and everything is combined.
Sift the baking soda, salt, and flour together, and then add to the butter and the syrup mixture. Mix until everything is evenly incorporated.
Shape the dough into a flat disk, and chill in the fridge overnight or up to 48 hours.
Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to about 3/8" thick and cut out using cookie cutters.
Arrange cookies on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until slightly puffed and golden.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
For the icing
Mix the powdered sugar with just enough water to make a smooth but thick glaze. Divide the icing into smaller batches if you want to make different colors. You can also flavor the icing with a little vanilla extract or almond extract if you'd like. For pipping lines and small designs, keep your icing pretty thick so that it won't spread, there should be a little resistance when mixing it with a whisk. For covering the entire cookie like the green and blue reindeer, add a bit more water to the icing so that it goes on smoothly and is easier to cover the whole cookie before it starts to dry and crack. Try some icing on a test cookie if you're not sure about the texture!
For the light blue color I used, add 2-3 drops of food coloring to 1 cup or so of glaze.
For the darker green/blue color, add a couple drops of green and blue, and a tiny touch of red to tone the color down a bit.
Place the icing in ziplock bags or a piping bag fitted with a very small tip. Cut a tiny corner off of the ziplock bags if using. Decorate, and allow to harden completely before moving or stacking.
I didn't make many changes to the original recipe, except to divide it in half (it still makes a good sized batch of 2 dozen or so cookies), and I was out of golden syrup so I used honey. The original recipe used metric measurements, so that's why some of the amounts aren't perfectly round.Recipe lightly adapted from The Nordic Baking Book
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/traditional-swedish-pepparkakor-recipe/ December 9, 2019