I’m in Idaho visiting my parents. So far, after getting here late Wednesday night, I’ve made “my” chocolate chip cookies so my niece, Kayla, could take them to her college classmates and share them.
The cookies taste pretty good, but aren’t quite my usual favorite as I didn’t have cake and bread flour and just used all purpose instead and only had some store brand semi sweet chocolate chips instead of my favorite Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips. But they were a big hit because everyone loves a BIG, gooey chocolate chip cookie!
But for this week’s Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies, I was flipping through my mom’s copy of Martha Stewart’s Cookies book looking for something and decided on the Pfeffernussen Cookies, really because it’s just so fun to say and I liked that they were covered in snow, I mean powdered sugar and they had nice spicy flavors.
I thought they were going to be more like shortbread or the Mexican Wedding Cookies, but they are actually kind of soft. They are good and would definitely be a nice addition to your Christmas cookie trays. My only small request for them would be to had some ground ginger next time. They have every other spice in them, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves—but no ginger. I thought there was just a little something missing. So if I made them again, I’d also add some ginger. I only snapped a few pictures of them.
The cookies are supposed to be lightly shaken in a bag full of powdered sugar. I did some dunked in a bowlful of powdered sugar, but kind of liked how they looked when I just sprinkled some sugar on with a powdered sugar shaker, like they got just a little light dusting of snow.
I only slightly changed Martha Stewart’s recipe as it didn’t have any salt and called for unsalted butter, so I added a little salt, and should have added some ginger. Still, these are some good cookies and if you’re wondering, Pfeffer means “pepper” in German and Nuss means “nut”—which refers more to the shape than the taste, since they have no nuts.
Pfeffernussen, adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- I think they could use some ginger!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioners' sugar in a brown paper bag. I just dunked each cookie in a bowl of powdered sugar, some I even just sprinkled with powdered sugar in a fine mesh strainer and liked those best.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Place butter, brown sugar, and molasses in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Pinch off dough in tablespoon amounts; roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Arrange balls 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (Dough can be frozen at this point, covered tightly with plastic wrap, up to 1 month.)
- Bake until cookies are golden and firm to the touch with slight cracking, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Working in batches, place cookies in paper bag; shake until well coated. Let cool completely on wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Want more ideas for Christmas cookies—the holiday will be here before we know it! Check out all the links to the other Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies Bakers/Bloggers below. Happy Baking!
**Disclaimer—the cookies are much better in texture and flavor the next day! ;)
How cute is a sleeping baby! One Wednesday we drove at 3 p.m. for 6 plus hours to Idaho, the last hour was horrible for Sam who kept crying “Wanna get out” and saying his back hurt. :( Moments later I looked back at him and he looked so peaceful. Love this guy! (Then he woke up about 10 minutes before we arrived at my parents, of course, crying. We’re happy to be home!