Pfeffernuse Cookies Recipe

My ancestors are from Germany – and I remember my Grandma making these traditional holiday cookies when I was very small.  I thought I would kick off December with this recipe!  They are excellent – very moist and flavorful!

Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients.  They are VERY easy to make!

Pfeffernuse Cookies Recipe


  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp anise extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar


  1. Stir together the molasses, honey, shortening, and butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir until creamy, remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Stir in eggs, and both sugars. Add in anise extract.
  2. Combine the flour, cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add in the molasses mixture. Stir until well combined. I used a hand mixer.
  3. Cover tightly, refrigerate at least 2 hours, I allowed the dough to chill overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 325.
  5. Roll the dough into acorn size balls, place onto lightly greased cookie sheet, at least 1" apart. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Don't over bake!
  6. Remove from cookie sheet to cool, dust with powdered sugar.
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As always – enjoy!!!

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