Pfeffernusse: Holiday Gingerbread Bites

Wherever you are in the world, there’s probably some sort of special treat or cookie that is just unavoidable during the holidays. It might be gingerbread cookies, peppermint chocolates, or even just sugar cookies. But there is one unique and delicious holiday cookie that you might not know of, the pfeffernusse. Also known as peppernuts, pfeffernusse is a common treat in countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark.


Pfeffernusse are essentially small cookies spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom, sweetened by molasses and covered with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar. With a familiar taste of gingerbread, they have grown to great popularity over the years, and many pfeffernusse fans have recreated their own recipes of this cookie.

Here is one pfeffernusse recipe you’ll want to try this holiday season!

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4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper ground

1 tsp cinnamon ground

1/2 tsp nutmeg ground

1/2 tsp allspice ground

1/4 tsp cloves ground

1 tsp anise seed powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

2 eggs

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


1. In a bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, anise seed and pepper.

2. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, light brown sugar, and molasses with a mixer for 5 minutes until soft and light. Beat in the egg on low setting before adding in the flour mixture. Continue beating until smooth and even.

3. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 4 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease baking sheets. Scoop the dough and form into small balls of 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Or use an ice cream scooper!

5. Place the balls onto the cookie sheets with adequate spacing of at least 1.5 inches apart. Place the cookie sheets in the middle of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until the cookies are brown.

6. Allow the cookies to cool slightly before dusting them with confectioners’ sugar. Then allow the cookies to cool completely.

And that’s your recipe for super festive, delicious, bite-sized cookies! Have you ever tried pfeffernusse? Share with us your thoughts and your favourite holiday treats!



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