My Grandmother’s Pfeffernusse’s Recipe

Today is National Pfeffernusse Cookie Day! You may not have heard of this humble nut and spice German cookie, but in my house around the holidays, there were plenty. My grandmother would bake this, along with 15 other types of cookies in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Everyone she knew looked forward to getting a tin wrapped in ribbon packed with cookies, brittles and other treats.

To keep the tradition alive, my mother and I have continued making lots of cookies every holiday season, including these delicious treats. They’re a bit like gingerbread’s German cousin and easy to make without being too sweet.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from my family to yours this holiday season, feel free to let us know on social media if you give these a try or email us at


Pfefferneusse Cookies 

Ingredients :

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup dark molasses

1 large egg

powdered sugar

Instructions :

  1. Grease cookie sheets and set aside. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in molasses and egg. Gradually add flour mixture and beat at low speed until dough forms, scraping down sides of bowl.
  3. Form dough into disc and wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove cookies and allow to cool on wire wracks and dust with sifted powdered sugar. Cool completely.
  7. Store tightly covered at room temperature for a week or up to 3 months frozen.
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