Christmas Cookie 5: Pfeffernüse

Here it is, the quintessential christmas cookie.  To my mind at least.

It’s got everything related to christmas.

Candied orange and lemon peel? √

Brown Sugar? √

Allspice? Nutmeg? Ginger? Cinnamon? √ √ √ √

Pepper? Umm, yeah ok, why not… √

The ingredient list is long but the recipe is dead easy and wonderful for dunking into teas or mulled wine.

Make these!

You might be missing a few of the ingredients and wonder whether it’s worth going out and buying a whole jar for 2 measly teaspoons.  The answer is, depends how much you like cookies?  How much you like Christmas? And how much you like baking?  You can always leave one out.  Double up on orange peel if you don’t want to get lemon.  Or get creative and use some grated fresh ginger if you don’t have dried.

Check your honey level, it has a tendency to languish in cupboards 3/4 empty and you will need more than that.

Pfeffernüse adapted from Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter
(makes 60 to 80 biscuits)

45g toasted unblanched sliced almonds
430g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 a teaspoon baking soda
1/2 a teaspoon baking powder
1/2 a teaspoon salt
1/2 a teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 a teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 a teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
115g butter, slightly firm
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar (forgive me! I forgot to write down the gram weight of this!)
1 large egg
180ml of honey
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange peel
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied lemon peel

Spiced Sugar
1 cup sieved icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 a teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1. Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 175 C. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or use a silipat.
2. Process the almonds until finely chopped in a mixer.
3. Strain together the dry ingredients. Stir in the almonds and set aside.
4. Beat the butter with the zests on medium speed until soft. Add the brown sugar and mix until well blended, then add the egg. Blend the honey and the candied orange and lemon peel.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended. Do not overmix.
6. Roll the batter into 2 cm balls, place 4 cm apart on a lined tray. Bake for 14 minutes, or until the cookies are very lightly browned around the edges. As usual, turn the trays around for even baking.
7. Allow to cool on tray for 3 minutes and then roll the cookie in the spiced sugar.
8. Place the iced cookies on cooling racks set over wax paper to cool completely.

Can be stored in airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


  1. Gabriel says

    Thanks alot. i had to right the recipe down:-( but it is Delicous. Great Job. you better not have copied a cook book 😉 !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>