Browsing Tag



Pepparkakor are ultrathin Swedish gingerbread cookies. Besides being delicious, you can wish on them!

Rest a pepparkaka in your palm and tap it with your knuckle– if it breaks into three peices (no more, no less)– your wish will come true!

This recipe comes from the days when I was a children’s Swedish teacher at the American Swedish Institute. Enjoy!

photo: Ben Dalton_flickr

Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

Yield: approx. 150 cookies (rolled thin!)

Note: dough must refrigerated overnight.

Bake at 375-400     5-10 minutes


1 ¼ c. sugar

8 Tbsp water

4 Tbsp corn syrup (I substituted 1 Tbsp with molasses)

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ginger powder

2 tsp clove powder


1 ¾ sticks butter


2 tsp baking soda

3 C flour


Roll very thin, cut out, bake at 375 for 5-10 minutes. (7 minutes, in my oven).

Recipe courtesy of Helene Brännström Suh, Svenska Skolan teacher at the American Swedish Institute

Julglädje at the American Swedish Institute

I’ve known Ross Sutter my whole life (quite literally– he was friends with my parents when they all lived at Hothorpe Hall in England). I’ve gone from being one of the kids who joins in in his shows to being the one who plays the Pied Piper.

While Ross, Marya Hart and Cheryl Paschke play beautiful Swedish folk tunes, the kids and I sneak out, and I turn them into tomtes. Then we come back and they help me tell a story. (You can download it for free here).

Here’s a glimpse of the tomtes getting up to mischief. (Thanks for the video, mom!)

You can contact Ross Sutter if you’d like to bring Julglädje to your community.

Tomte Kajsa’s Rice Pudding Recipe

Nothing is tastier than cream, cinnamon and sugar– at least if you’re a Swede.

My family doesn’t stir this while it bakes, which results in a denser rice layer on the bottom and a delicious custard layer on top.

Be sure to mix in one almond– whoever finds it gets good luck (or a sweetheart, depending on the story) for the next year.

Listen to just how much tomtes love rice pudding (and download the story for free) here.

I tell Swedish Christmas stories as Tomte Kajsa. Past performances include the American Swedish Institute, Sons of Norway lodges, and culture clubs. If you’d like me to come to your event, just send a message.

Julgädje at the American Swedish Institute

julgladje banner

I’ve been dressing up as Tomte Kajsa and performing with Ross Sutter for years at this lovely event. This is the first time we get to kick off the season with shows the weekend right after Thanksgiving.

Beautiful music, a chance for the kids to be part of the show, and traditional dances around the tree.

Be sure to leave time for a trip through the Turnblad Mansion, all decked out for the holiday.

TICKETS: $5 ASI members adult; $3 ASI member child /$6 nonmember adult

Information here.