If you are looking to add a new holiday cookie to this year’s Christmas cookie exchange, these German Pfeffernusse Cookies are the perfect solution.
These Pfeffernüsse Cookies come from Germany and are popular throughout the entire holiday season. In the Netherlands, they make a similar cookie known as Pepernoten.
What’s in these German Gingerbread Cookies?
Pfeffernusse cookies feature warm peppery tones for the cold wintery days of the holiday season.
These German gingerbread cookies get their flavors from such common spices and flavorings as:
- Anise Extract
- Ground Pepper
Let’s Make Pfeffernusse Cookies!
We’re going to start by combining some butter, molasses, and honey in a small saucepan.
This combination of ingredients should tell you right away that these are going to be some pretty tasty holiday cookies!
Next, you’re going to add an egg and some anise extract to these Pfeffernusse cookies.
We’ve used anise before in our Swedish Limpa Bread, and if you recall, it has a sweet, aromatic taste similar to black licorice.
Now, you’re going to add a combination of warm spices, like cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and cloves, and the like to this pfeffernusse recipe.
At this point, your holiday kitchen is going to take on the aroma of a German bakery.
Don’t be surprised if people and pets of all creeds begin to work their way into your kitchen to find out exactly what you are making.
Now, it’s time to take a small break in making these cookies and allow the dough to chill for an hour or so in your refrigerator.
This is a great time to do some online shopping and maybe sit back and have another cup of coffee.
Once the cookie dough has chilled a bit, it’s time to bake these pfeffernusse cookies in a hot oven. It only takes about 12 minutes in a 325° oven for these cookies to finish baking.
Traditionally, these pfeffernusse cookies are glazed in a simple powdered sugar and water icing. Instead, we prefer to roll them in some powdered sugar and then get down to business.
The next and last step of making these pfeffernusse cookies is one of the most challenging. Allow them to cool before you roll them in a coating of white, fluffy, and sweet powdered sugar.
I never seem to have the willpower to wait that long. Plus, I find they taste just a little better if still warm. Isn’t that true of all cookie recipes?!
These pfeffernusse cookies are great for this year’s holiday cookie exchange, and they store well if made ahead of time.
You can keep them in an airtight container, and they stay fresh and delicious tasting for up to two weeks!
Some of our Most Popular Christmas Cookies
- Cherry Kiss Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Simple Sourmilk Sugar Cookies
- Our Full Collection of 20 Christmas Cookie Recipes
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- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup butter unsalted
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp anise extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cardamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar for outside coating
- Use a small saucepan and combine butter, molasses, and honey over medium-low heat. After the mixture has melted together, remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the egg and anise extract, stir it in and set aside.
- Use a large mixing bowl and mix up the remaining dry ingredients, except for the powdered sugar. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and form into a ball of dough. Wrap it up in plastic kitchen wrap and allow to cool in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 325° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. After the dough is chilled, roll out the cookies into 1 inch balls. Bake for 12 minutes and allow to cool. Roll in powdered sugar and enjoy!