Allan Penn


  • 6 Tablespoons  unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Cup  dark corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon  hot water
  • 1/4 Teaspoon  anise or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/8 Teaspoon  ground cloves
  • 1/8 Teaspoon  ground allspice
  • 2 1/4 Cups  all-purpose flour
  •   Confectioners' sugar, for rolling

Today is Pfeffernüsse Day, and we all have an excuse to make the little German cookies so popular during the holiday season. As much as I love homemade cookies, this is one I like packaged, but I did manage to find one recipe that made me just as happy as the crunchy, confectioners’ sugar ones I buy in late November. Pfeffernüsse (pepper nuts) don’t always have actual pepper in them, but this recipe does. It also has anise, which, like the pepper, is pretty much optional these days.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the corn syrup and hot water, then beat in the anise extract, pepper, baking soda, cloves, and allspice. By hand or using the lowest speed of the mixer, add the flour and stir to make a fairly firm dough. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and have ready an ungreased baking sheet.

Divide the dough into quarters and roll each portion into a ¾-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes on the diagonal, spacing the cuts about 1 inch apart. Arrange the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cool, roll in confectioners’ sugar.


Calories per serving:

104 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Sodium Low Potassium, Kidney Friendly

Daily value:



  • Fat 72g 111%
  • Carbs 443g 148%
  • Saturated 44g 221%
  • Fiber 8g 32%
  • Trans 3g
  • Sugars 228g
  • Monounsaturated 18g
  • Polyunsaturated 4g
  • Protein 30g 60%
  • Cholesterol 183mg 61%
  • Sodium 902mg 38%
  • Calcium 106mg 11%
  • Magnesium 81mg 20%
  • Potassium 424mg 12%
  • Iron 14mg 78%
  • Zinc 2mg 14%
  • Phosphorus 347mg 50%
  • Vitamin A 583µg 65%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 149%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 86%
  • Niacin (B3) 17mg 84%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 7%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 518µg 129%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 2%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 3mg 13%
  • Vitamin K 9µg 11%
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