Skip to content


December 22, 2009

~ Emma ~ Wanda ~


My mom found this recipe in the Treasury of Christmas cookbook and it reminds her of the cookies her Grandma Smith used to make. The name in the cook book is Pfeffernusse but growing up her Grandma called them Peppernuts and used to put them in coffee tins and give them for gifts. She remebers her Grandma’s being hard as rocks and you would have to put them in your coffee and eat them with a spoon. The flavor of these are the same but these are nice and moist.




3 1/2 c flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 c butter

1 c sugar

1/4 dark molasses

1 egg

sifted powder sugar


Grease cookie sheets, set aside. Place flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, cloves, cardomom and pepper in large bowl, stir to combine. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until dough forms. Cover dough and refrigerate until firm, 30 min or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350 degres. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12-14 min or until golden brown. Remove cookies to wire racks, dust with sifter powedered sugar. Store tightly covered at room temp or freeze up to 3 months.


I love these cookies….but who would think black pepper in cookies would be tasty but they are!!!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. pat permalink
    December 22, 2009 10:39 am

    These look tasty! As I get older I appreciate these old recipes. The cookies have so much flavor. I love them with a cup of tea in the afternoon!
    Thank you for this recipe Emma and Wanda!
    I love the pictures of Emma! Nice to see you this morning, you cutie-pie, you!

  2. December 22, 2009 9:23 pm

    oh my these were my moms favorite never had them homemade she use to actually buy these must try!!!! thanks

  3. December 22, 2009 11:10 pm

    Mom just recited our Pfeffernusse family recipe over the phone a couple nights ago…and I was surprised it had no pepper. I see yours has pepper. Thanks for the post!

  4. December 23, 2009 3:26 am

    Delicious! I love all the warming spices–perfect for the season!

  5. December 23, 2009 9:06 am

    These are some great cookies. My neighbor back home made them every year. Yes it is hard to believe that black pepper works in a cookie. Wishing you and your a wonderful & blessed holiday season!

  6. December 23, 2009 1:55 pm

    Several years ago, we purchased some chocolate truffles with pfeffernusse ganache centers. They were amazing, but we couldn’t totally deconstruct the spices. Now that I’ve seen your recipe, the mystery is solved. We’ve got to try making your cookies. Happy Christmas! Robiin

  7. December 23, 2009 3:05 pm

    Pfeffernusse rock! I just made some myself and I love the spicy heat of the pepper. I also just like saying “pfeffernusse”. 🙂

  8. December 23, 2009 3:48 pm

    Some of my fondest childhood memories have to do with my great grandmother’s pfeffernusse cookies. Hers were also super hard — but they were uber flavorful. Awesome with a cup of hot cocoa.

    It was probably my first exposure to the idea of black pepper being used in a sweet application… probably opened my eyes up to all sorts of things I wasn’t even aware of at the time!
    Mmmm… peppernuts!!

  9. tastyeatsathome permalink
    December 24, 2009 3:10 pm

    Yum – Love the addition of cardamom. Such a delicious spice.

  10. December 25, 2009 9:23 pm

    We just gave some store bought cookies to my sisters in law for Christmas! Great recipe!

  11. December 26, 2009 5:14 pm

    These were so yummy! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: