Friday, May 10, 2013

#99 Pfeffernüsse

Pfeffernüsse, pronounced /ˈpfɛfə(r)nuːsə/, is a small firm biscuit, traditionally served for Christmas in Germany. There are Dutch and Danish versions, and some say it originated in the Netherlands. Pfeffernüsse  is a German word that translates to  pepper nuts. We came to know of this sweet treat when my daughter picked up a kid's cookbook from the library. They are required to read books at home everyday, and on that day, she read the cookbook. :) "Mom! I know just what to make and write about today!", she said, "fe-fer-nus-se"..I laughed at how she said it with conviction, almost the right way to say it, only way cuter. :) So while doing the dishes, I asked her to read all the ingredients to me, and she gladly read word for word.. "1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon  ground black pepper"..."Pepper?", I asked her laughing again, "Good one, dear"; "Yes, it's black pepper mom, see..", she said while putting the book an inch away from my face. She was right! We have not made cookies from scratch before, and it was surprising to see pepper as one of the ingredients. We were excited so we hurriedly mixed, baked and then waited for the fragrant cookies to be done. Wow. It was really good! It has a nutty taste. Since she is highly allergic to nuts, I told her that this cookie has a taste similar to nuts. She was happy to know what a food she can never eat tastes like. :) She wrote about how to make a yummy German cookie on her reading log. The next morning, she packed a couple for her self to snack on at school and she also packed extra to give to Jacob, who she says likes her lunches and snacks. :) We made 24 pieces, it's a great recipe! I have been eating it, and with every hot cup of coffee -it's wonderful. I will be making this on Christmas eve for sure, and many more times before that!

Yield: 24 pieces


1 3/4  cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 ground black pepper
8 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until well blended. Add the honey, egg yolk, and zest. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well blended.
  4. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place balls of dough using an ice cream scoop. Press gently on each ball to flatten slightly. Leave about 2 inches of space between each cookie.
  5. Bake until edges are light brown, about 14 minutes.
  6. Cool and sift confectioners' sugar over cookies. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Abigail Johnson Dodge

Easy and delicious Pfeffernüsse!

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