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Authentic Pfeffernüsse Recipe

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What is Pfeffernüsse recipe

Discover the perfect blend of spices and sweetness with our authentic Pfeffernüsse recipe Pfeffernüsse pronounced “FEH-fur-noo-suh” are traditional German spiced cookies. These small, round cookies are known for their distinctive blend of spices, including pepper (black and white), cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes cardamom.

Pfeffernüsse typically contains ingredients like flour butter sugar molasses and a variety of different spices giving them a rich aromatic flavor. After baking they are often rolled in powdered sugar, providing a sweet and slightly spicy taste.

Gallery Pfeffernüsse



1/ In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, black pepper, white pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.

2/ In another bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

3/ Add the molasses, egg, and lemon zest to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until well combined.

4/ Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

5/ Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

6/ Take portions of the dough and roll them into small balls, approximately 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space between them.

7/ Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch and just starting to crack on top.

8/ Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

9/ Once cooled, roll the cookies in powdered sugar until they are completely coated.

10/ Store the Pfeffernüsse in an airtight container at room temperature. The flavors tend to develop over a few days making them even more delicious!

Tips and Tricks To Make The Best Pfeffernüsse

Chill the Dough: After mixing the dough, refrigerate it for at least an hour before shaping the cookies. Chilled dough is easier to handle and results in cookies that hold their shape better during baking.

Rolling the Dough: When rolling the dough into balls, lightly dampen your hands with water to prevent sticking.

Spice Combination: Adjust the spices to your taste preferences. If you prefer a spicier flavor, increase the amount of pepper or add a pinch of ground cloves. Experiment to find your preferred balance.

Coating with Powdered Sugar: Roll the cookies in powdered sugar while they are still slightly warm but not hot.

Aging for Flavor: Pfeffernüsse tends to develop its flavors over time. Store them in an airtight container for a few days before serving to allow the spices to meld, resulting in a richer taste.

Consistency of Dough: If the dough seems too sticky to work with, add a little extra flour gradually until it reaches a workable consistency. Be careful not to add too much, as it can affect the texture of the cookies.

Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the cookies while baking. They should be firm to the touch and just starting to crack on top. Avoid overbaking to maintain a slightly chewy texture.

Storing Pfeffernüsse: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They can last for about a week, and their flavors tend to improve with time.

Sharing Tradition: Pfeffernüsse are a wonderful treat to share with friends and family during the holiday season. Consider gifting them in decorative tins or boxes for a festive touch.

Nutrition Facts

approximate nutritional breakdown for Pfeffernüsse per serving (one cookie, approximately 25 grams):

Please note that these values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used and the size of the cookies. It’s always a good idea to check the nutritional information on the ingredients you use and adjust the values accordingly.

(FAQs) About Making The Best Pfeffernüsse

Can I substitute molasses in the Pfeffernüsse recipe?

Yes, if you don’t have molasses, you can use dark corn syrup or honey as a substitute. Keep in mind that this may slightly alter the flavor profile.

How can I adjust the spiciness of Pfeffernüsse?

Experiment with the amount of black pepper, white pepper, cloves, and other spices in the recipe. Adjusting these spices can tailor the level of spiciness to your preference.

How do I prevent Pfeffernüsse from becoming too hard or dry?

Be cautious not to overbake the cookies. Remove them from the oven when they are firm but still slightly soft to the touch. Proper storage in an airtight container also helps retain moisture.

Can I freeze Pfeffernüsse?

Yes, these cookies freeze well. Thaw at room temperature when ready to enjoy.

What makes Pfeffernüsse improve over time?

The flavors of Pfeffernüsse tend to develop and deepen over a few days.

Can I add nuts or dried fruits to Pfeffernüsse?

Absolutely! Chopped nuts like almonds or hazelnuts, as well as diced dried fruits like candied ginger or raisins, can be added to the dough for added texture and flavor.

How do I ensure uniform size when shaping Pfeffernüsse?

Using a cookie scoop or measuring spoons can help create evenly sized portions of dough for rolling into balls, ensuring consistent baking.

Are Pfeffernüsse suitable for individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions?

Depending on the ingredients used, pfeffernüsse may contain allergens like gluten from flour or nuts. .

Can I store Pfeffernüsse for an extended period?

Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, Pfeffernüsse can remain fresh for about a week.

What’s the best way to serve Pfeffernüsse?

Pfeffernüsse pair excellently with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

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