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Pfeffernüsse (Peppernuts)

Pfeffernüsse (Peppernuts)

Pfeffernüsse (Peppernuts)

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Pfeffernüsse (Peppernuts)
4.8 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.8/5 (7)
Course: Hand-shaped CookiesCuisine: GermanDifficulty: Easy



A traditional German spice cookie rolled in powdered sugar. These are redolent of many spices and include a little kick from lemon zest and some pepper!


  • 1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel; grated

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/3 cup butter; softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup walnuts; finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon anise seed

  • confectioner’s sugar in a shallow bowl (for rolling warm cookies)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350F and lightly grease baking sheets.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, lemon peel, salt, spices & pepper.
  • In big bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg.
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with milk, and beat it well after each addition.
  • Stir in chopped walnuts and anise seeds with a wooden spoon.
  • Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2″ apart, on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
  • Cool slightly on wire racks (until just handle-able). Roll in confectioners’ sugar while still warm; cool completely.


  • Recipe of Cecilia Gustafsson (1891-1979), kindly contributed by Kurt Gustafsson.
  • Wikipedia has an entry on Pfeffernusse history, traditions and variations.

    Common spellings and misspellings: pfeffernuesse, pfeffernuessen, pfeffernuss, pepernoten, pepernoot, päpanät, pebernødder 
  • Photo by Durova under Creative Commons license.



Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)
These cookies remind me of celebrating Christmas with my grandparents and my very large extended family. They are delicious and my own children love them. Great recipe!
- Mary in Nutley, NJ
Heaven for the palate! My German Grandma passed when I was 12, So I never got to ask her for her recipes. From what I've hear from a couple german friends, this recipe is very authentic. Thank you so much for sharing it! Wish I had more German recipes like Beef Rouladen, and the famous Sauerbraten......
- A Baker
I'm of German descent and my grandmother passed away when I was younger and didn't get to copy her recipes. This is extremely close to what she made--that is a real compliment! Wish I had more authentic German Recipes for Rouladen, Sauerbraten etc.
- A Baker
I really like this cookie, it's like a biscuit that just slightly sweet. The recipe yielded about 40 cookies
- Serrena
These are wonderful. My whole family loves them, and my husband said he thinks these are the best cookies he's ever had. He's no easy critic either. Easy to make and very unique spicy flavor. I'm making more tomorrow.
- A Baker
l love making these for holidays. they are easy and a real crowd pleaser. they are wonderful.
- A Baker
- A Baker
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