facebook share image   twitter share image   pinterest share image   E-Mail share image

German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernusse) image

German for "pepper nut," pfeffernusse cookies are named for the pinch of pepper added to the dough before baking. It joins a quartet of warm spices -- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

Provided by Martha Stewart

Categories     Food & Cooking     Dessert & Treats Recipes     Cookie Recipes

Yield Makes about 60

Number Of Ingredients 18

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon kirsch or other cherry-flavored liqueur, optional
Coarsely ground pink peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon luster dust, preferably metallic
1/4 teaspoon kirsch


  • Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, brown sugar, and molasses 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 a heaping teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining dough, spacing balls 1 1/2 inches apart. (Dough can be frozen at this point, covered tightly with plastic wrap, up to 1 month.)
  • Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden and firm to the touch with slight cracking, about 15 minutes. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Glaze: Fit a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, milk, and kirsch, if desired. Using a fork, dip each cookie in glaze to coat. Tap to remove excess glaze and place on wire rack to dry. Repeat with remaining cookies.
  • To decorate: While the glaze is still wet, top cookies with a small pinch of peppercorns, if desired. Alternatively, let glaze dry completely before mixing together luster dust and kirsch with a small paintbrush. Lightly brush tops of cookies with luster dust mixture, if desired. Let dry before serving. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Luxury MONEY
[email protected]

I'm not sure what I did wrong, but my cookies turned out really flat. They still taste good, but they're not as pretty as I hoped.

Abdimajid Mohamed
[email protected]

These cookies are a bit too spicy for my taste, but I still enjoyed them. I think I'll try using less ginger next time.

King Hassam Jona
[email protected]

I've never had pfeffernusse before, but I'm so glad I tried them! They're a delicious and unique Christmas cookie.

Atef Keshk
[email protected]

These cookies are really easy to make and they're so delicious! I love the crunchy texture and the spicy flavor.

Mustakim Ahmod
[email protected]

I followed the recipe exactly and the cookies turned out great! They're a bit crumbly, but that's to be expected with this type of cookie.

Gacha Life
[email protected]

These cookies are a bit dry, but the flavor is good. I think I'll try adding some molasses next time.

Arik Gaming
[email protected]

I'm not a huge fan of gingerbread, but I really enjoyed these cookies. The spices are more subtle and the cookies are less sweet.

Sarmuel Sarkodie
[email protected]

These cookies are a great way to use up leftover gingerbread spices. They're also a nice change from traditional Christmas cookies.

Bibisha Dahal
[email protected]

I love the unique flavor of these cookies. They're not too sweet and the spices are just right.

Unogwu Kingsley
[email protected]

These cookies are a bit time-consuming to make, but they're definitely worth it! The flavor is amazing and they're so festive.

Amjad Sathio
[email protected]

I've been making these cookies for years and they're always a hit! They're the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

salman saeed
[email protected]

These cookies are so delicious and easy to make! I love the spicy flavor.