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).