This is a German spice cookie recipe, similar to gingerbread, which I received from my mother, Sabine Muller. I have been making these for over 20 years. I looked online at other Pfefferkuchen recipes and none were like this one. I thought that I would share it with you. The literal translation is 'pepper cakes', I always ice them with a lemon glaze.

Inge

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Recipe Summary

prep:
1 hr
cook:
20 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Servings:
108
Yield:
9 dozen cookies
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Ingredients

108
Original recipe yields 108 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring molasses, honey, and sugar to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Stir in anise, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, lemon zest, and butter. Dissolve baking soda in water, then stir into the molasses mixture. Sift together 6 cups of flour with the baking powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Stir in molasses mixture and eggs until smooth. Stir in remaining 3 cups flour until a stiff dough has formed.

  • Divide dough into 4 pieces to make it more manageable. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick on a well floured surface and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.

  • Bake cookies on ungreased baking sheets 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts

86 calories; protein 1.3g; carbohydrates 18.2g; fat 1.1g; cholesterol 5.7mg; sodium 88.3mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (15)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
12/13/2007
I was looking for an authentic German cookie recipe so I could send my Aunt some cookies that would remind her of her (German) mother. I don't know whether they are authentic or not but I was very happy with how the cookies turned out. The smell while they were baking was strong enough that I wondered if the spiciness would be overwhelming but they tasted sublime. I made a couple of significant modifications: - halved the recipe with no problem - substituted whole wheat flour for half of the all purpose flour - added two eggs plus enough additional flour to make up for the liquid in the eggs. I wanted the cookies to rise a bit and the eggs did the trick nicely. Read More
(22)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
12/11/2011
They are not spicy enough I was very dissapointed They need some ginger and more cinnamon. Read More
(3)
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
12/12/2007
I was looking for an authentic German cookie recipe so I could send my Aunt some cookies that would remind her of her (German) mother. I don't know whether they are authentic or not but I was very happy with how the cookies turned out. The smell while they were baking was strong enough that I wondered if the spiciness would be overwhelming but they tasted sublime. I made a couple of significant modifications: - halved the recipe with no problem - substituted whole wheat flour for half of the all purpose flour - added two eggs plus enough additional flour to make up for the liquid in the eggs. I wanted the cookies to rise a bit and the eggs did the trick nicely. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2007
This is an easy recipe to make traditional German Pfefferkuchen or Lebkuchen. I ended up pouring the dough into cooking pans instead of rolling it out and only realized later that when you wait a little the dough gets harder and rollable. I also frosted mine with a sugar glaze and brought them to work - they were a HUGH success! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
09/01/2010
These are delicious! I used a lemon glaze and they tasted like the ones we would buy in Germany. I will definitely make these again! Read More
(11)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/19/2008
This is a nice spicy cookie that is great with coffee. I tried the first sheet without oiling the pan per the recipe but found they stuck to the pan. Used a little spray oil on the next ones and they came off easily. The cookies are very soft when done and need to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes until firm enough to handle. I ground fresh anise cardamon and cloves plus put in a little extra of each because we like them extra spicy. Use a lot of flour when rolling out the dough. It can be sticky. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2010
I was looking for a cake-like German gingerbread cookie recipe and these were perfect!! I made a few minor adjustments and I love the way they turned out. Since this recipe was so large I halved the spices and used only 1/3 of the other ingredients (so mine probably came out a little spicier than the originals)--this made 44 cookies. I also add 1/3 cup of minced candied ginger pieces and used a basic powdered sugar glaze for the top --- really divine! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2009
Been looking for a recipe like my grandfathers and this is very close. I just used this recipe for the first time and will just make a few alterations to it next time and they will be exactly like my grandfathers. Will be addimg a little more of the spices to them. My grandfathers were a little more spicey. They bring back good memories! Read More
(9)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/24/2011
Thanks for the great recipe! I made one change. I did not add any sugar just the molasses and honey were sweet enough. Then I made a simple glaze with lemon juice and powdered sugar which added just enough extra sweetness. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
04/02/2012
Glad to see so many reviews on these. I make them every year close to Christmas time. And they are lowfat! Thinner cookies would be crispier and thicker cookies would be cakier! The original recipe calls for sugar beet syrup not molasses but it is not available where I live... except on-line! It would give it a more authentic flavor if you can find it. - Inge Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
08/18/2011
I have been looking for this recipe for years. My husband was born and mostly raised in Munich. He grew up with these but here in the states we just can't find them. Now I can just make them. Thanks so much! Read More
(6)
Rating: 1 stars
12/11/2011
They are not spicy enough I was very dissapointed They need some ginger and more cinnamon. Read More
(3)
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