Pfeffernusse is a popular holiday cookies in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.  It is generally a small round dry butterless cookie coated in icing sugar and containing nuts.  In my recipe I decided to focus less on the nuts ( I omitted them) and more on the combination of spices.

PfeffernusseI used a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, pepper, cardamon and salt.  Ideally you want more “pfeffer” (pepper).

Eggs and sugar are beaten together and blended with the flour and spices to create a rather gritty and dry dough.


PfeffernusseYou roll the dough into 1 inch sized balls and placed on them on your cookie sheets. What is really nice about this recipe is that the cookie doesn’t expand or spread meaning you can load up your cookie sheets.

Once the cookies are baked and slightly cooled you want to throw them into a baggie of icing sugar and generously coat them before serving.


PfeffernusseThese are messy to eat.  You have been warned 🙂

Yields 2-3 dozen

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  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Icing sugar for coating


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda and all the spices.
  3. In another bowl beat together the eggs and sugar.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until dough is formed.
  5. Roll the dough into 1" balls and place on prepared pans.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until tops begin to brown.
  7. Cool slightly then toss with icing sugar.
Recipe Type: Dessert




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