Family recipe for German peppernuts. Small, dense spice cookies that are tantalizing when dipped in coffee, or great on their own. This is the traditional version with molasses.

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Ingredients

48
Original recipe yields 48 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

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

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  • In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in molasses, anise oil, and egg. Dissolve baking soda in hot water, and stir into the mixture. Combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and white pepper; blend into the molasses mixture until uniform. Knead for a minute until easy to work with. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, and place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly browned on the bottom. Do not over bake, or they will be very hard. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

77.2 calories; 1.1 g protein; 12.9 g carbohydrates; 3.9 mg cholesterol; 29.1 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (6)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2006
I made these for my dad for Christmas as I remember him eating a stale pre-packaged version when I was growing up. I hated them but my practice batch disappeared quickly. I substituted the brown sugar for a less sugar brown sugar blend and doubled the spices on the second batch to make them a little more potent. So far everyone who has tried them has asked for the recipe. Thanks! (The molasses and rolling in powdered sugar are essential in this cookie.) Read More
(13)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
12/23/2014
There is something really wrong with the ingredient balance in this recipe. I followed the directions carefully and exactly and came up with a dough that was much much too dry and wouldn't stick together enough to form balls. I should have given it up then but instead I looked online and other recipes said you may need to add some water to make them stick so I tried that. I think maybe I should have added a second egg instead but it doesn't really matter because after baking them for the full 12 minutes they were still uncooked on the inside (yes they were smaller than 1" round) and the part that was cooked tasted terrible like just a paste made of molasses and flour. NOT a good pfeffernusse recipe!! Look elsewhere! Read More
9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2006
I made these for my dad for Christmas as I remember him eating a stale pre-packaged version when I was growing up. I hated them but my practice batch disappeared quickly. I substituted the brown sugar for a less sugar brown sugar blend and doubled the spices on the second batch to make them a little more potent. So far everyone who has tried them has asked for the recipe. Thanks! (The molasses and rolling in powdered sugar are essential in this cookie.) Read More
(13)
Rating: 4 stars
12/29/2009
To be fair I used black pepper instead of white and ended up using a bit more ginger that called for (more spilled out of the jar) but I compensated with extra cinnamon and these turned out well. They will be very soft when taken out of the oven at the proper time and are better after sitting for several days. And definitely roll them in powdered sugar after they cool! Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
12/25/2004
Excellent; easy to make; after baking roll in powdered sugard. Read More
(6)
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Rating: 1 stars
12/22/2014
There is something really wrong with the ingredient balance in this recipe. I followed the directions carefully and exactly and came up with a dough that was much much too dry and wouldn't stick together enough to form balls. I should have given it up then but instead I looked online and other recipes said you may need to add some water to make them stick so I tried that. I think maybe I should have added a second egg instead but it doesn't really matter because after baking them for the full 12 minutes they were still uncooked on the inside (yes they were smaller than 1" round) and the part that was cooked tasted terrible like just a paste made of molasses and flour. NOT a good pfeffernusse recipe!! Look elsewhere! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/17/2016
I used black pepper instead of white pepper and these came out just fine.. makes the house smell wonderful. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/03/2020
4-3-20 made half a batch made 35 cookies followed recipe exactly cooked for 9 minutes next time double amounts of cinnamon anise and ginger Read More
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