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Pfeffernusse

Cookie Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper (we used white on our first batch)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup chopped or ground blanched almonds

Honey Frosting Ingredients:

1 egg white

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed

1 – 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheets.  In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until light.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and lemon peel. Add dry ingredients to egg/sugar mixture and beat until well blended.  Beat in almonds.  Shape into 1-inch balls.  Place 1-1/2 inch apart on greased cookie sheets.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are slightly browned.  Remove cookies from baking sheets; cool on racks.

Prepare frosting:

In a small bowl, combine egg white, honey and anise.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Frost:

Place 10 -12 cookies in a small bowl.  Add two tablespoons Honey Frosting.  Stir until all cookies are frosted.  With a fork, lift out cookies; arrange on rack to dry.  Repeat until all cookies are frosted.  Store in an airtight container one week to ripen, if desired. (We couldn’t wait.)

Makes about 48 cookies. 

Notes:

Thank you Harve and Tina!

Our first attempt produced only 30 cookies.  Before baking, each cookie weighed 20 grams.  We’ll back that down to 15 grams next time.

The original recipe did not include pre-mixing the dry ingredients; that instruction is my (perhaps unnecessary) addition.

The dough was crumbly and not like typical cookie dough which had me concerned.  The dough however was moist enough that it pressed into balls with no problem, so I am assuming this is a normal characteristic of pfeffernusse dough.

For almonds, we bought blanched almond slices and chopped them up.

For the anise, we mortar and pestled anise seeds.

We were so impatient to taste, we tried our first cookie while the frosting was still wet.  I was concerned that there was too much anise. But once the frosting was dry, the anise had retreated to the appropriate distance.

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