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  

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