Family Friendly Recipes

Pfeffernüsse

Pfeffernüsse
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Pfeffernüsse

Pfeffernüsse are small, festive spice cookies that are popular in Germany and North America for the Christmas holidays.  Similar versions can be found in Denmark and The Netherlands. The original recipe was from a friend of my brother and his family.  Unfortunately, through the moves, that recipe was partially lost and I had to reinvent it.

Pfeffernüsse actually means “pepper nuts”, hence the pepper and spices in these delicious cookies.  In Germany, Pfeffernüsse are a domed cookie and iced liked a gingerbread cookie.  We roll them into a log and slice them on a diagonal. Then roll them in confectioners sugar.  They tend to look more like “pepper nuts” this way.

Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the eggs, honey and molasses. Continue to cream until well mixed.

Unsulphured Molasses

Sift the dry ingredients together except for the ground anise seed.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the hot water to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined. Do not over mix.

Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Roll out the dough into long ropes about ½ inch thick. Slice on a diagonal. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Pfeffernusse Ready For the Oven

Bake in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 12-14 minutes.  Removed from the oven. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.

Pfeffernusse Cooling on Wire Rack

Roll cookies in confectioners sugar or leave them plain.  Store in a wax paper or parchment lined cookie tin.

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Pfeffernüsse

December 12, 2021
: 192 Cookies; Half Recipe 96 Cookies

Pfeffernüsse are small, festive spice cookies that are popular in Germany and North America for the Christmas holidays.

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 8 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons ground anise seed
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
Directions
  • Step 1 Cream the shortening and sugar together.  Add the eggs, honey and molasses.  Continue to cream until well mixed.
  • Step 2 Sift the dry ingredients together except for the ground anise seed.
  • Step 3 Add the flour mixture alternately with the hot water to the wet ingredients.  Mix until combined.  Do not over mix.
  • Step 4 Add the ground anise seed and mix thoroughly.
  • Step 5 Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  • Step 6 Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Roll out the dough into long ropes about ½ inch thick. Slice on a diagonal. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Step 7 Bake in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 12-14 minutes.
  • Step 8 Removed from the oven.  Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.
  • Step 9 Roll cookies in confectioners sugar or leave them plain.
  • Step 10 Store in a wax paper or parchment lined cookie tin.
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