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German Pfeffernüsse

October 29, 2014

I was curious about these cookies with pepper …at first I wondered if that was something Ethelbert the Elf would have cooked up, but upon relistening to the song, which was a staple at elementary school Christmas assemblies growing up, it was actually onions in the cookies and pepper in the chocolate…close enough! 🙂

These were the first cookies I made for John when we started dating, so now when I make them he thinks about that little surprise package of cookies he got in the mail. I’ve found that a lot of other people like these too. Which is good, because this recipe makes a lot of cookies for sharing! (About 9 dozen)

pfeffernusse

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup dark corn syrup

3 Tbsp hot water

2 tsp anise seed (I use about 1 – 1 1/2 tsp ground)

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

4 to 5 cups flour

powdered sugar

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add corn syrup, water, spices, baking soda, and salt. Beat at low speed until well blended. Gradually add 4 cups flour, beating at low speed. Stir or knead in as much of the remaining 1 cup flour as needed to form a stiff dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, 3-4 hours (overnight is fine).

Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick rope. Cut ropes diagonally into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined or ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 min, or until golden brown. Cool completely and roll in powdered sugar before storing.

(Recipe from Cookies!)

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