These are the traditional “pepper nut” German Christmas cookie and Christmas would not be Christmas without them.


  1. 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  2. ½ teaspoon salt
  3. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  4. ½ teaspoon aniseed
  5. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  7. ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  8. ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  9. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
  11. ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  12. ¼ cup light molasses
  13. 1 egg
  14. 2 cups confectioners sugar for dusting

 The Day Before

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, pepper, and spices.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg.  Reduce the speed and add in the flour mixture.
  4. Refrigerate  overnight.

 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper 

  1. Scoop up pieces of the dough and roll between your palms into balls 1 ½” in diameter.
  2. Place the balls on the baking sheets spacing them about 2” apart.
  3. Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and firm to the touch, about 14 minutes.
  4. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and allow the cookies to cool slightly on the sheets.
  5. Place the confectioners sugar in a paper bag and drop a the cookies, a few at a time, into the bag.  Shake the bag to coat cookies and then transfer them to racks to continue cooling.

Cookies keep stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a long time and improve with age.


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