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.
Continuing on my recent theme of sharing cookie recipes from my childhood, here is a recipe my mom and I made every year. We often ended up eating at least as much of the raw dough as we baked. Even now I sometimes make this just for the dough. After all, sometimes it’s just not worth the rolling out and cookie cutting. 😉
To distinguish this from other sugar cookies, my mom called these Good Sugar Cookies.
Good Sugar Cookies
- 2/3 c. shortening
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 t. vanilla
- 1/2 t. grated orange peel
- 1 egg
- 4 t. milk
- 2 c. flour
- 1 1/2 t. baking powder
Cream shortening, sugar, vanilla and orange peel. Add egg and beat until fluffy. Add milk and blend in dry ingredients. Divide in half. Chill one hour, roll our 1/8″ think and cut. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 for six to eight minutes.
Since this is the week of Thanksgiving in the U.S. and this holiday is centered around food, I thought I’d share one of my favorite cookie recipes. This is a classic that my family has made for a long time. According to my search on the Internet, this recipe first appeared in Family Circle some 40 years ago. I found the exact recipe my mom gave me on Food.com.
The key ingredient is sour cream. I often have sour cream left over from Mexican dinners at my house, and it’s actually a wonderful ingredient for baked good to make them soft.
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup sour cream (8 ounce carton)
- cinnamon sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Measure flour, salt, baking powder, and soda into a sifter.
- Cream butter or margarine with sugar until well blended in a large bowl: beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Sift in flour mixture, adding alternately with sour cream to make a thick batter.
- Drop by by rounded Tablespoonfuls, 4 inches apart, on greased cookie sheets; spread into 2 inch rounds; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. [I generally don’t bother to flatten them and they come out just fine as a regular drop cookie does.]
- Bake in hot oven (400°F) 12 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. [Although I find 10 minutes is good enough for me, as I like them not very browned on the bottom.]
- Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks.
A little less than a year ago, I discovered Marketing for Romance Writers. I’d recently finished my first manuscript and was Googling about publishing options and whatnot. It was one of the best groups I’ve ever stumbled upon. Thanks to their Write Place, Write Time pitch event, I learned how to write a killer log line and pitch, which ultimately landed me two offers. My debut novel, To Hiss or to Kiss, was released in March.
Now they are gearing up for A Taste of Summer Camp, to be held July 12th-14th. I’m pleased to kick off a month and a half of blog posts promoting this wonderful event and sharing great recipes. Romance authors, join MFRW’s Yahoo group today so you don’t miss out on this excellent learning opportunity.
In honor of the variety of romance out there, here’s a cookie that has plenty of sweet with a nice kick of spice.
Sweet and Spicy Chocolate Crinkles
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 6 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup milk
- powdered sugar to coat
Cream shortening, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add cocoa, oil, cinnamon and cayenne and blend. Alternate flour and baking powder with milk. Form into 1 to 1.5 inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.