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Pfeffernuesse

Pfeffernuesse	Opens photo in lightbox. Hit Escape or X to exit lightbox.

1/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortning
1 beaten egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
powdered sugar -- optional

Combine first 4 ingredients in saucepan; cook and stir until shortening and sugar melt. Cool. Stir in egg. Mix flour with soda and spices. Add to honey mixture; mix well. Form into balls using one level tablespoon of dough for each; place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375F about 10 minutes. Cool. If desired, sift powdered sugar over tops.

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Reviews of Pfeffernuesse:

1-10 of 10 reviews  

  Baker in Edmonton in Edmonton, AB  Dec 12, 2010
Would make this again.
I chose this recipe because of it's simplicity since I had to make 8 dozen for a cookie exchange. The first batch I followed the directions to a 'T' with the exception of doubling the spices. The dough was dry, tough and the cookies turned into hard dry flavourless lumps.

The second batch I creamed the shortening, sugar, syrup and honey. Added the egg, and then added my dry ingredients leaving out about 1/2 c. flour and adding more spices again. The batter was more like a regular cookie batter and I was able to roll them into balls and they baked up like Snickerdoodles.
I added freshly ground black pepper also and used dark brown sugar instead of white.

They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. In my very dry winter climate I suggest anyone else thinking about this recipe try adding less flour and using the creaming method instead of melting the sugar and shortening beforehand.
Overall, once modified, a nice cookie. I will glaze the tops with a thin icing sugar glaze to add sweetness.
5 stars

  Melanie in Maine, USA  Dec 30, 2009
Would make this again.
Just want to say that I made this recipe and it was GREAT! I doubled all the spice measurements and added 1/2 tsp of nutmeg as well. The rest I followed exactly, including using shortening instead of butter. I used my kitchenaid on low to really mix the first four ingredients well. Make sure the mixture is lukewarm before you add your egg or you'll cook the egg! I formed them into balls about the size of a large gumball and baked them on parchment paper at 375 for 10 minutes. They looked a bit shiny and felt rubbery when raw. After they cooled completely, I sprinkled them with powdered sugar. They were somewhat crunchy. I packed them in a plastic container, and the next day, they were soft. I know for sure they were completely cool when I packed them, so I'm not sure why they got soft. Anyhow, they were delicious crunchy AND soft (I actually prefer soft). Everyone loved them! One of the people I gave them to is already begging for another batch. Thanks for a great recipe! 5 stars

  Kristi in Maryland  Dec 9, 2009
Would make this again.
I'm going to try doubling the spices next time, but even following the directions these were fantastic. I attempted to use a cookies scoop rather than a standard spoon- bad call, the dough is to sticky, but that's my own fault.
Also great because you can use gluten free flour without any other changes- thanks to the honey and corn syrup. I always love a good German cookie. A friend of mine was born in Germany and he loved these too.
5 stars

  A cookie baker in Pullman, WA  Dec 3, 2007
Would make this again.
I just made these for my first grade classroom. Are they supposed to be a bit dry and hard, or did make them incorrect?

Since I have never had these before, I'm not sure what to expect!

They taste great though.

RESPONSE: Yes, Pfeffernuesse are supposed to be dry and hard. Many people make them weeks before Christmas and allow them to "mellow" before serving.
5 stars

  A cookie baker in new jersey  Dec 15, 2006
Would make this again.
easy to make,delicious.doubled amount of spices in second batch,even better. 4 stars

  A cookie baker in Indiana  Nov 19, 2005
Would make this again.
I grew up eating pfeffernusse at Christmas. Aside from adjusting the spice quantities (I tend to go for larger quantities of spice because my mom made them that way), this recipe is great. I have tried SEVERAL recipes and this one is the closest to what I remember growing up. 4 stars

  A cookie baker in New Jersey  Dec 5, 2003
Would make this again.
I have almost an identical recipe handed down 5 generations although the preparation of the cookie is a little different. The recipe I have has a couple more cups of flour, and the dough is rolled into 1 inch diameter logs and chilled. It is then cut into bite sized slices and baked. They are actually better after several days as the flavors get a chance to mature. They are basically crunchy little nugets that are nice if you don't want something too sweet to munch on.

I really like this version of the recipe as well as it yeilds a softer, larger version of the cookie. Yum, yum!
4 stars

  A cookie baker in Seattle  Jul 16, 2003
Would make this again.
It's good. It smells good when baking!! 5 stars

  A cookie baker  Mar 14, 2003
Would make this again.
Pfeffernuesse this is not. Pfeffer means it has to have PEPPER. They seem to have forgotten the white pepper.

Response: Actually, that is a common misunderstanding. While "pfeffer" generally means "pepper" today, in the old days the term "pfeffer" was used to refer to spices. The name of this old recipe refers to the spices and not, as is commonly believed, to the pepper (which may or may not be added to various pfeffernuesse recipes).

  A cookie baker in MD  Dec 14, 2002
Would not make this again.
This recipe was alright, but the spices were not strong enough. 3 stars

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