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Pfeffernusse, or “peppernuts,” are little balls of holiday cheer that originated in Germany. It’s believed their name comes from the whole spices that are ground into powder to flavor the dough since traditional Pfeffernusse don’t contain nuts, despite the name.



Makes about 36 cookies


cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour teaspoons (3 grams) ground ginger teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cardamom½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground black pepper1/4 teaspoon ground cloves cup (75 grams) unsalted butter cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar3 tablespoons (63 grams) unsulphured molasses3 tablespoons (63 grams) honey1 large egg(50 grams), room temperature and lightly beaten cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar2 tablespoons (30 grams) hot water (140°F/60°C to 150°F/66°C)


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves.
in a medium saucepan, cook butter, brown sugar, molasses, and honey over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter is melted, sugar dissolves, and bubbles form around sides of pan. Remove from heat, and pour mixture into a large heatproof bowl. Carefully stir in flour mixture until almost combined. Stir in egg until combined (Mixture will be very soft and shiny.) Turn out dough onto plastic wrap, and flatten into a 6-inch square (about ¾ inch thick). Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut dough into 1-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 1-inch pieces (about 16 grams each). Roll each piece into a ball. Place 1 inch apart on prepared pans.
Bake until set and edges are lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Place a wire rack on a sheet of parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons (30 grams) hot water until smooth. Dip top of each cookie in glaze, and place on prepared rack, letting excess glaze drip off. Let stand until glaze is set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

The post Pfeffernusse first appeared on Bake from Scratch.

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