Pfeffernüsse

Pfeffernüsse
Staff Writer

Allan Penn

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
5g
7%
Sugar
1g
1%
Saturated Fat
1g
4%
Carbohydrate, by difference
12g
9%
Protein
2g
4%
Vitamin A, RAE
1µg
0%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
1mg
1%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
1µg
1%
Calcium, Ca
12mg
1%
Choline, total
2mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Folate, total
10µg
3%
Magnesium, Mg
17mg
5%
Phosphorus, P
41mg
6%
Selenium, Se
2µg
4%
Sodium, Na
147mg
10%
Water
13g
0%