Pfeffernusse cookies are German cookies typically made at Christmastime. They are full of warm spices, have the perfect crunch, and are absolute perfection when dipped in white chocolate. Just like other cookies, there are varying degrees of deliciousness depending on the recipe or what bakery you get them at. GUYS! My friend, Ronica, gave me a recipe for The Best Pfeffernusse Cookies, and I am soooooo excited for you to try it! To experience more fun treats during the season, check out these Family Christmas Movies and the Best Snacks to Eat with Them.
Ronica gave me some of these cookies for Christmas this year. The moment I tasted one, I was OBSESSED! I’m not typically super into spiced crunchy cookies, but HOLY SMOKES! There was something about the mix of spices that included cardamom and had something magic in it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on…I immediately hid them in my closet and didn’t share them with my family. That’s a lie. I think I gave Sim one, but then I promptly hid and devoured the rest all on my own!
I also immediately asked Ronica if I could have the recipe and share it on the blog. She got the recipe from a longtime friend who has German ancestors, but she had tweaked the amounts of spices slightly. And my, oh my, these cookies are true perfection and exactly what a Christmas Cookie should taste like!
The magic ingredient I couldn’t quite place was pepper. The recipe calls for a significant amount of ground black pepper and also a little white pepper. I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, my favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe calls for a little black pepper. Black pepper really wakes up the flavors in cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and all those warm spices.
I Can.Not.Wait for you to try these cookies! If you only try one new recipe this holiday season, make sure it’s this recipe for The Best Pfeffernusse Cookies. You are going to LOVE them! They are also super perfect for bagging up and giving to teachers, friends, or neighbors.
More Must-Make Christmas Treats
- Rebecca’s Amazing Caramels
- The Best Christmas Cracker Candy
- Reindeer Poop Fudge Recipe
- Amazing Meltaway Cookies
- Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Christmas Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn
Step-by-step pictures for making the best pfeffernusse cookies
Frequently Asked Questions and Tips for making The Best Pfeffernusse Cookies
I don’t have the spice cardamom. can I leave it out?
Yes, but it will change the flavor of the cookies. Cardamom has a flavor and fragrance all on its own. The cardamom adds an amazing depth of flavor and complements the other spices. I do not recommend leaving it out.
does the pepper make the cookies spicy?
No, it doesn’t make them spicy, but it is present. The word “Pfeffernusse” in German translates into the English word “peppernuts.” These cookies are named for the magic ingredient in these cookies…pepper. It wakes up all the other warm spices.
DO I HAVE TO REFRIGERATE THE COOKIE DOUGH BEFORE BAKING?
I recommend chilling the dough for at least 1 hour. Chilling the cookie dough allows the butter to harden up. The butter takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat, controlling the spread of the cookie. As a result, the cookies will hold their shape better when baking, which makes for a soft, chewy center.
CAN I shape THE COOKIES into A DIFFERENT SHAPE?
Yes, you can. Roll dough into balls the size of a whole walnut shell. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 12 minutes in a 350-degree oven or until light brown.
how many cookies does this recipe make?
Depending upon how big or small you shape the cookies, the recipe makes 36 to 48 cookies.
I don’t like white chocolate. Can I use milk chocolate?
Yes! Dark chocolate also works well. To make the cookies more festive during the holidays, sprinkle them with gold, silver, green, or red sprinkles after dipping in chocolate. You can also dust them with powdered sugar or just leave them plain.
how should I store the cookies?
Store cookies in an airtight container to maintain the soft center. If you prefer a crispier cookie with a snap when eaten, leave them on the countertop loosely covered. If you love these cookies as I do, they will be gone before having to store them. 🙂
Fun & delicious Tips when eating Pfeffernusse cookies
- If you like to dunk cookies in milk, dunk the cookies in a glass of milk, hot chocolate, or even a cup of tea. Delicious!!
- The longer the cookies sit over time, the more robust the flavors become–if they last that long. 🙂
- In a medium-sized mixing bow,l whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, and white pepper. Set aside.
- With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the molasses and egg. Mix well until combined.
- Next, slowly combine the flour mixture with the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until well combined. The mixture should be stiff but not overly dry.
- Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it with saran wrap. Place the dough in the fridge and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Remove dough from the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take a handful of dough and roll into a snake-like shape with a width of ¾- to 1-inch thick on a floured surface or silicone mat. With a butter knife, cut the dough at an angle into 2- to 2½-inch pieces. (See photos in the step-by-step instructions above.)
- Place cookies 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes until light golden brown.
- Let the cookies completely cool on a cooling rack.
- Continue shaping and baking the rest of the dough.
- Next, melt half of the white chocolate or almond bark according to package instructions. Dip each cooled cookie halfway into the melted white chocolate and place on wax paper or a silicone mat to set up. Melt more chocolate as needed.
- Let the white chocolate completely set up before eating the cookies.
- Store cookies in an airtight container.
Recipes for Christmastime