Pfeffernusse cookie recipe

Pfeffernusse cookiesThis Christmas, you can bake a traditional German cookie. The translation for pfeffernusse is “pepper nut.” The cookies have a spicy floral flavor and the versatility of gingersnaps.  Try this recipe from @1800′s Culinary Team Member Kellen Ferkey.

My grandfather loved pfeffernusse cookies and I had the privilege to make these for him one Christmas.  These are quintessential holiday cookies, but they store very well and can be eaten for months after they have been made.

They can be chewy or snappy depending on how you finish them.  The last time I made these I created a triple batch and baked them at three different textures. I always go back to The Joy of Cooking ca. 1973 for this one.  The subtle differences make for a better texture.  I changed a few things but the base recipe is very similar.

Pfeffernusse cookies


½ C Butter
½ C Sugar
2 ea Well-Beaten Eggs
1 C Sifted All-Purpose Flour
¼ ts Baking Soda
¼ ts Kosher Salt
1 ts Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Ground Green Cardamom
1 ea Ground Star Anise
½ ts ea of the following Ground Spices:
Black Pepper
¼ C Ground Blanched Almonds
1 ½ TB Grated Lemon Peel
¼ C Finely Chopped Golden Raisins

Pre-heat oven to 350. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the first three ingredients.

Mix together the dry ingredients and then add to the stand mixer.

Using a silpat or greased cookie sheet, drop teaspoons of the dough about two inches apart and flatten slightly if needed.

Bake ten to 12 minutes, cool and keep in a container with a tightly fitting lid.

Optional but encouraged: You can dust the cookies with powdered sugar if you would like to see your Aunt Sandy’s ugly Christmas sweater get all messy.

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