Pfeffernusse (German Powdered Spice Cookies)

Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.

Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.

Warm up your ovens, everyone, because it’s time to get ready for the holidays! And what better way to start getting into the holiday spirit than by baking some delicious German pfeffernusse cookies?

Pfeffernusse is a traditional German Christmas cookie that is traditionally made during the month of December. The name translates to “pepper nuts,” which reveals its most prominent spice in this popular holiday treat. It’s a sweet and spicy cookie which often includes cinnamon, cloves, ginger.

Pfeffernusse can be eaten by themselves or dipped into coffee or hot chocolate after dinner to give it an extra boost of flavor!

They’re perfect for enjoying during the holidays or any time you’re in the mood for a sweet and spicy treat!

Store cooled cookies in an air tight container for up to a week. Freeze cookies for up to three months if needed.

Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.
Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.

About the Ingredients for Powdered Spice Cookies

Butter – Unsalted butter is the best way to get consistent flavour but you can use salted and skip the additional salt.

Sugar – Light brown sugar, pack it down well.

Egg – Make sure your egg is room temperature.

Molasses – Use only fancy molasses.

Flour – Spoon and level the flour, never pack it when baking. If your flour is lumpy, sift it in.

Baking soda – Make sure your baking soda is either fresh or at least still active so that the cookies rise.

Spices – We use a combination of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, black pepper, and cloves. You can swap all-spice for the cloves if that is all you have on hand. White pepper is more traditional to this recipe, but black pepper is more common in most American households.

Powdered Sugar – For dusting.

Looking for More Christmas Dessert Recipes?

Check out some of my favourite Christmas desserts!

A delicious recipe for gingersnap cookies made with molasses that is soft, chewy, and perfect for the holiday season!

Almond Buttercrunch Candy recipe featuring homemade Honeycomb and loads of chocolate and almonds. It’s an addictive holiday treat!

Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.

How to Make Pfeffernusse (German Powdered Spice Cookies)

Yields: 2 Dozen Cookies | Prep time: 20 minutes | Baking time: 10-12 minutes | Chill time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamon
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and molasses and mix to combine.

Combing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and spices. Stir to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.

Transfer dough to the refrigerator and chill for one hour.

When ready to bake, place top oven rack in center position and pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Spice dough being rolled into balls for baking and placed in a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Remove dough from refrigerator and form balls with a 1-inch scoop. Roll the dough in your hands to form a ball and set on baking sheet with an inch or two inches between each cookie.

Spice cookies baked but not rolled in powdered sugar yet.

Place baking sheets in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from oven and let cookies cool for several minutes.

Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.

Working in batches, transfer cooled cookies to a Ziploc bag filled with powdered sugar. Seal tightly and gently turn until cookies are thoroughly coated. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Pfeffernusse (German Powdered Spice Cookies)
Yield: 2 Dozen Cookies

Pfeffernusse (German Powdered Spice Cookies)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamon
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and molasses and mix to combine.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and spices. Stir to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  3. Transfer dough to the refrigerator and chill for one hour.
  4. When ready to bake, place top oven rack in center position and pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  5. Remove dough from refrigerator and form balls with a 1-inch scoop. Roll the dough in your hands to form a ball and set on baking sheet with an inch or two inches between each cookie.
  6. Place baking sheets in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from oven and let cookies cool for several minutes.
  7. Working in batches, transfer cooled cookies to a Ziploc bag filled with powdered sugar. Seal tightly and gently turn until cookies are thoroughly coated. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Store cooled cookies in an air tight container for up to a week. Freeze cookies for up to three months if needed.

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Learn how to make the traditional German Christmas cookies, Pfeffernusse. These powdered spice cookies are a real festive holiday treat.

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