Pfeffernüsse, a German spice cookie translated as peppernuts, are named for their shape and the black pepper in the cookie itself.   Aside from cut out sugar cookies, I associate these most with Christmas.  While this recipe probably isn’t considered “purist,” as some pfeffernüsse are rolled in powdered sugar after baking and don’t contain anise oil, I like this version best.  I love their spiciness and crunchy texture.  Too bad their size makes it easy to pop them like Tic Tacs.  I chilled the dough overnight for easier handling and added about 1 teaspoon of crushed anise seeds for flavor.  I used Lorann anise oil…you can find this at stores where cake decorating/candy making supplies are sold or at pharmacy counters (Really!). 


Anise Oil Peppernuts  (Recipe courtesy of Recipezaar Peppernuts)

Yield – 300 small cookies


  • 1 cup butter 
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise oil or extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon allspice 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons liquid black coffee 
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 cups flour


1.  Cream butter, sugars and eggs.

2.  Add remaining ingredients.

3.  Roll into snakes.

4.  Cut into bite size pieces.

5.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes (depending on desired crunch).

Published in: on December 9, 2008 at 10:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Smothered Enchiladas


Authentic Mexican food?  Nope but still delicious damn it!  With tons of cheese, you can’t go wrong, right?  These are easy to make and pretty economical.  I add a chopped onion to the ground beef and use more cheese, of course.

Smothered Enchiladas (Courtesy of

Yield – Makes 8 servings


  • 2  pounds  ground beef
  • 1  (1 1/4-ounce) package mild taco seasoning mix
  • 1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, divided
  • 2  (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1  (16-ounce) container sour cream
  • 8  (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese


1.  Brown ground beef in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and half of chopped green chiles; set aside.

2.  Stir together remaining green chiles, soup, and sour cream. Pour half of soup mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

3.  Spoon beef mixture evenly down centers of tortillas; roll up. Place, seam sides down, over soup mixture in baking dish; top evenly with remaining soup mixture and cheese.

4.  Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired.

Published in: on December 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm  Comments (2)  

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

0931I made these cookies a couple of weeks ago when I had a chocolate craving.  I found the recipe in a Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies special issue from 2001.  They turned out great!

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti  (Can also be found on Martha Stewart’s website Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti )

Serves 4


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheet
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I added a bit more than this)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a baking sheet; set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs; beat until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary.  Add flour mixture, and stir to form a stiff dough.  Stir in pistachios and chocolate chips.

3.  Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet; form into a slightly flattened log, about 12 by 4 inches.  Bake until slightly firm, about 25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.  Reduce oven tempurature to 300 degrees.

4.  On a cutting board, using a sharp serrated knife, cut biscotti diagonally into 1-inch thick slices.  Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet, and bake until crisp but still slightly soft in the center, about 8 minutes. 

Delicious!!   These are still good two weeks later.

Published in: on December 3, 2008 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment