Pfeffernusse are traditionally made during the Christmas season. Like most baked goods, there are many variations of pfeffernüsse. While most recipes call for cloves and cinnamon in these German cookie recipes, some also use nutmeg or anise. A Danish recipe for pebernødder requires white pepper, while most recipes don't use pepper at all. Some versions of Pfeffernüsse contain pecans, ginger, or cardamom.

Pfeffernusse are extremely hard when they are first baked. For at least a week, it is difficult to bite into them without first dunking into a beverage. However, they soften with age.

In Germany they are also known as "Pimpernüsse" in some places. They are very popular at church receptions, especially around Christmas time. They make an excellent holiday cookie recipe.

Don't confuse German Pfeffernüsse with Russian tea cakes. They are a similar shape and are both generally covered in powdered sugar, but they contain different ingredients.

Add these to your German recipes and you'll have a winning German cookie recipes.

Let's get started! You will need:

  • 1 c. shortening
  • 2 c. of granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 c. of buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of all spice
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 c. molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 c. flour
  • 8 Drops of Anise Oil (optional)

Cream the shortening, and sugar together. Add the molasses, buttermilk, ground cinnamon, black pepper, all spice, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and anise oil to the mixture, and mix well.

Add the flour, and baking soda. Mix well. Your dough will be very thick.

Place the dough in a large container and let chill for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Roll the dough into acorn-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Place on a cooling rack. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners' sugar.

These Pfeffernusse cookies, once cooled, will be very hard. However, they melt in your mouth and are good dunked in coffee.

Christmas Cookies From Around The World

Rosettes Recipe - An Exceptionally Tasty Norwegian / Swedish Cookie

Kourambiethes - Greek Christmas cookies

Melomakarona - Honey Cookies with Walnuts

Lebkuchen - Traditional German Christmas Cookie

Galletas de Navidad - Mexican Christmas Cookies

Raspberry Linzer Cookies - An Austrian Treat

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