Pfeffernusse (literally translated from the German as pepper nut) is a holiday favorite in my family. While the most traditional recipes include both pepper and nuts, in modern times the recipe often consists instead of a blend of spices akin to what you’d find in pumpkin pie. My family’s recipe is in the latter category. Do a quick Internet search though and you’ll find a lot of variations.
It is often made into a flat-ish round biscuit cookie but my family roll them into balls to cook. In addition, we don’t serve them right away. Instead my mom hid them away in a cupboard to let the spices settle and the cookies harden for a week or two before eating.
I have eaten the cookies both fresh and after some weeks of resting, and I can’t honestly tell you if they really taste better a bit more stale and crunchy or if it is simply the gemütlichkeit of childhood memories that make me prefer them that way.
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 1/4 c. flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1/2 t. cloves
- 1/4 t. nutmeg
- 1/2 t. lemon peel
Beat eggs and sugar until thick. Add dry ingredients and blend. Chill overnight. Roll into 1 1/4 inch balls. Bakes on a greased cookie sheet at 350º F for 25 minutes. Best stored for one to two weeks.