Pfeffernüsse is a traditional German Christmas cookie. It is quite deeply spiced with a sweet peppery tone and perfect for the Christmas season.
There's several cookies I bake around the holidays and this is definitely one of the first that comes to mind and I've finally made it.
I can't believe I'm even mentioning Christmas, Halloween hasn't even happened yet, so I'm just thinking of these cookies as a delicious cold weather treat. The warm spices in this will certainly make you feel cozy.
These cookies are very similar to lebkuchen, although lebkuchen is much more cake like. I always bought lebkuchen and pfeffernüsse from the Christmas German market in Edinburgh every single year. This year I decided to make them myself.
It's really nice to have the smell of pfeffernüsse cookies in my house early this year. Whenever you buy these cookies, as soon as you open them the whole house permeates with its aroma, so you can just imagine the smell of them straight out of the oven.
- 1 cup +2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons black treacle (or molasses)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda and all the spices, set aside.
In another larger bowl beat the sugar, butter and treacle together with an electric whisk until smooth.
Add the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat again.
Then fold the flour/spice mixture into the wet mix until completely combined.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Form the cookie dough 2 inches apart using a mini cookie scoop.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350F (you will need to do this in a few batches).