Rating: 4.5 stars 4.6
223 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 176
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 12
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 3

Pfeffernüsse are German Christmas cookies spiced with black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and other spices. I have searched far and wide for a recipe that mimics my favorite, store-bought version of these cookies. After days of thrown-out cookies, I think I have come as close as I can get.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
15 mins
2 hrs
2 hrs 30 mins
36 cookies


Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place molasses, honey, shortening, and margarine in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Beat in eggs.

  • Combine flour, white sugar, brown sugar, anise, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add molasses mixture; stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate dough until well chilled, about 2 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Roll dough into acorn-sized balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until firm to the touch with slight cracking, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets briefly before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Dust cooled cookies with confectioners' sugar. Store in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts

284 calories; protein 3.7g; carbohydrates 53.9g; fat 6.3g; cholesterol 20.7mg; sodium 212.8mg. Full Nutrition