This is another of Mom’s Holiday Cookie recipes. Pfferneuse is German for Pepper Nuts. This is a delightful holiday cookie that I ate from the time I was a child to whenever. Little, tender, fluffy, powdery balls full of Christmas spices. How can you possibly go wrong with this?
Here is another family recipe that goes back several generations. Jennifer over at the blog “The Foodery” did a post on Pepernoten, a Dutch Holiday cookie also known as pepper nuts. It reminded me of this recipe for Pfferneuse and the need to do a post on it. Mom made it every year for christmas that I can remember. I made them for my children years ago but quit because of my busy schedule. I always knew where there was an annual holiday supply. You see, to Mom, Christmas wasn’t Christmas without her family German Christmas cookies. She would work tirelessly churning out Holiday cookies for friends and family. When she passed away, my older brother, Lester, started making these as Christmas gifts for the family. Knothead will fight anyone for these cookies. He thinks Lester makes them for him. 😮 They are an absolutely wonderful holiday cookie. So, in honor of Mom and the Holidays, Baby Lady & I set out to make Pfferneuse. In our batch, however, we actually put the pepper (2 tsp) back in the cookies. It actually could use 4 tsp. So, if you’re looking for a wonderful Holiday cookie to make for friends and families, give this one a try. We think you will like it. 🙂
Before you start, put the pecans into a food processor and process until a fine ground texture.
Next, mix the dry ingredients, including 2 tsp ground black pepper, in a large bowl.
Beat sugar and eggs.
Add the butter
Change from the whisk to the paddle and slowly add dry ingredients.
This makes a very thick dough.
Add ground pecans and raisins to dough.
Mix the pecans and raisins into the dough by hand.
Roll into balls, roughly the size of a small walnut and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool but don’t allow them to get cold.
Dip Pfferneuse into lemon juice.
Roll in powdered sugar.
Place on a rack to dry.
Serve & enjoy! Happy Holidays!!!!
14 thoughts on “Pfferneuse (Pepper Nuts)”
Hi Richard, I’ve never had these but they spund and look tasty. Very different from both kinds of Dutch pepernoten. Both? Yes, there are two totally different cookies that are both called pepernoten (one type that resembles speculaas is officially called kruidnoten).
PS It’s Pfeffernüsse, or Pfeffernuesse.
Hi, Stefan. Sorry my German sucks but I speak Spanish fairly well. 🙂 I had no idea there was any other pepper nut other than Pfeffernuessse. Regardless, these are pretty tasty.
These are far removed from my family’s Christmas cookie tradition. They sound wonderful, though, especially with the finish of a lemon juice dip and, of course, the dusting of powdered sugar. And being a big fan of pepper, any cookie that calls for so much of it is all right by me, although I’ll admit this is the first I’ve heard of one.
Thanks, John. I love the lemon wash and powdered sugar coat. It’s perfect for this cookie with all of the pecans, raisins, brown sugar and Christmas spices. We had never done the pepper until this year and it turned out quite nice. 2 tsp, however, gives you a faint hint of pepper which is why we say you need 4 tsp. Also, amazingly, I got 6 dozen cookies out of this batch. 🙂 I never, ever get what the recipe says. You really should give these a try. They are fun, in addition to being darn good.
I absolutely LOVED this cookie at Christmas in my pre-low-carb days! I’m going to have to try making your recipe low-carb using fine almond flour rather than flour. I think it’s possible, as one gets the same crumbly texture with almond flour one gets with real flour. 🙂
Let me know how it turns out. I have never tried low carb baking but I really don’t bake. This was more for fun and in memory of Mom than anything else
Great post again Richard. They look sooooo tasty. I admire your motivations too. I am trying to balance my Christmas eating with hitting the gym. There aren’t enough days in the week for both right now. January could be hard work!
Thanks, Conor. We’re glad you liked it. I’m trying to balance my Christmas eating with Yule Tide drinking. 😀 I worked out and ran for 30+ years. Around 45 I wrenched my knee very badly and could not work out for a year, When I started working out again it was uncomfortable, to say the least. So, being the prudent individual I am, I quit. I’ve never missed it either although I have gained 15 – 20 lbs. Not working out, however, does give me more time to cook, eat, drink and be merry!
The lemon and powdered sugar sounds like a great finish! Thanks for mentioning my pepernoten recipe, I think the recipe I tried years ago must have been for another German cookie, yours looks WAY better than what I did! That is awesome that you can keep the family tradition alive, I’d love to do the same with our family. Happy holidays!
I’ve heard of these, but never knew what they entailed. They sound delicious!
Hello Richard! It’s Tara, your dental hygienist! 🙂 I just made these and they are delicious! Thank you for letting me know about these. I have enjoyed exploring all of your other recipes too! Can’t wait to try more.
Hi, Tara. 🙂 We’re glad you like the pfferneuse. They truly are one of my favorite cookies. The trick is making them small enough. They are supposed to be bite size similar to a bourbon ball. I always think of my mom when I make them. It makes them somewhat bittersweet. My kids love them, too.