Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today is National Pfeffernuesse Day!

That is right, today is National Pfeffernuesse Day! Pfeffernuesse cookies are a traditional cookie in Central Europe. According to Wikipedia, the name Pfeffernuesse "translates to pepper nuts in German, Danish and Dutch, describing their spicy taste as well as the fact that many recipes actually call for almonds or walnuts and a small amount of black pepper to be used".

(image from

From what I can gather from a variety of sources, these cookies are a bit like biscuits as they are harder and crunchy. However, if allowed to sit for a few days, they do become softer. They sound wonderfully vibrant to me, and I am looking forward to experimenting with Pfeffernuesse for a new holiday cookie tradition!

Here is a classic Pfeffernuesse cookie recipe from



2 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. candied ginger, citron or orangeat
1/3 c. almonds
zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 tsp lemon extract
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. milk


1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
juice of half a lemon


Whip together eggs and sugar on high speed until tripled in volume and almost white, about three to five minutes. Finely chop crystallized ginger or citron; grind nuts. Add crystallized ginger (or citron), nuts and lemon zest or extract to egg mixture and mix until combined. Change to the paddle blade. Sift together spices, flour and baking powder, and slowly add to eggs mixture. If the dough is dry and crumbly, add milk one tablespoon at a time until dough holds together. Knead gently for a minute or two until the dough is smooth. Cover and let sit for one day; this step is important to allow the flavors to meld.

The next day, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Form dough into balls about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until browned. Allow to cool 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice; add a bit of hot water for a thinner glaze if you like. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and allow excess to drip off. (A cooling rack placed over the parchment-lined baking sheets works well.) Store in an airtight container. These keep for a long time, and the flavor improves with age.

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