These are by far my favorite holiday cookies. The Swedish Pepparkakor are identical with Finnish Piparkakut and taking a bite of one of these takes me back home for a moment. We would use our gingerbread boy, girl, pig and scalloped cookie cutters and decorate the baked cookies with Royal Icing. I also use the same recipe for Gingerbread houses and Christmas trees. I just bake them a little longer so they are sturdy enough for building.
This year I actually decided to bake some of these before Thanksgiving, thus the pictured leaf shapes.
Note: Dark baking syrup is something that I grew up with in Finland. It is used instead of molasses or corn syrup and has much nicer taste than regular American molasses. If you'd like, you can find it at Ikea's Swedish Food Market.
Royal Icing (also from Allrecipes.com)
Note: I do not use egg whites for my Royal Icing. I substitute Meringue Powder which has substitution instructions on the container. Meringue powder is basically dried and powdered egg whites and poses no health risks. You can find it on the cake decorating aisle at your local craft store or walmart.