Pfeffernüsse is German version of the traditional northern European “pepper nut” cookies; a family favorite at Christmastime. Simply delightful!

Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 30
  • 2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed aniseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter; at room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup light molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Cups confectioners' sugar (about); for dusting
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, pepper, anise seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
  3. Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  4. Butter 2 baking sheets.
  5. Scoop up pieces of the dough and roll between your palms into balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the balls on the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and firm to the touch, about 14 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool slightly on the sheets. Place the confectioners' sugar in a sturdy paper bag. Drop a few cookies into the bag, close the top securely and shake gently to coat the warm cookies with the sugar. Transfer to racks and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  7. Store in a airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 1 week.
This recipe yields about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Recipe Source: WILLIAMS-SONOMA HOLIDAY BAKING by Jeanne Thiel Kelley

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