Pfeffernusse cookies are a favorite cookie of mine for many reasons. The main reason is that they remind me of my German Grandmother, my Oma.
My Father was a military man and we moved around a lot. We didn’t always have a lot of money while he was moving up in the ranks, so making a trip to Germany to see my family was not an option until I was older. It was always a big deal to go and visit my family overseas and we all loved it.
My Oma, used to send us Gummy Bears in our Christmas package. Funny to think that way back then you couldn’t get Haribo Gummy Bears at the local store. It was always a treat for us to get my Oma’s packages.
My Mother did her best to bring a bit of Germany to our holidays. We would have red cabbage with our Christmas dinner and we always looked forward to it. Opening gifts on Christmas Eve was another German tradition my brother and I grew up with. This tradition has passed on to my daughter and she tells me that when she has children, they will open gifts on Christmas Eve as well.
Peffernusse Cookies were often baked by my Mother during the holidays. I can still see her in the kitchen with a tear in her eye while making the cookies. She missed her family so much and knew it may be years before she saw them again.
While I was making these cookies I thought of so many wonderful memories. I thought a lot of my Oma, she was a kind and gentle woman and always had a smile on her face. I have always wished I could have spent more time with her. I remembered Christmases past and the fun we would have and all the treats we would gobble up. I also thought to the future, to the days when I have grandchildren in my kitchen and I can pass on stories of generations before them all while baking Pfeffernusse cookies.
- 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
- 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioners' sugar in a brown paper or plastic bag
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, pepper, cinnamon, anise, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. 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.
- Bake about 15 minutes or until cookies crack on the top and are firm to the touch. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. When the cookies are slightly cook, place small batches in the powdered sugar. Shake to coat and place on another wire rack. Let cool completely on wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Make sure you take a few minutes to stop by my friends from #SundaySupper and see what they have been baking.
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