Pfeffernusse Recipe -
Pfeffernusse Recipe
  • READY IN 25 mins


Recipe by  

"This spiced cookie, traditionally prepared at Christmas, features black pepper. 'Pfeffernusse' is the German word for 'peppernuts.' The black pepper enhances the spice taste without adding heat."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 25 (2 cookie) servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    25 mins


  1. Place brown sugar and butter in large mixer bowl. Cream with electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Add remaining ingredients, except confectioners sugar, to sifted flour and sift again. Gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into ovals and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from cookie sheets and place on wire racks. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar while cookies are still warm. When cookies are cool, store in airtight containers.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 16, 2003

We couldn't find Grandma's recipe so we gave this one a try. Not bad but not as dark (or as good)as we remember. We sent this recipe to Grandma and she said it was missing dark molasses. I'll post her recipe when she sends it.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 08, 2008

I did not care for this recipe. These are not peppernuts as we know them over here in the Netherlands. Ingredients of peppernuts are: sugar, cacao, salt, milk powder, cacao butter, skined milk, vanilla, speculaas, cinnamon, pepper, and vegetable fat


8 Ratings

Dec 14, 2004

The spicy flavor is very nice BUT the consistency of the dough is all wrong. Even after 4 hours of chilling it was soft and gooey, and almost impossible to shape, more like a drop batter. The cookies baked up round and flat. I added another 2/3 cup of flour to make the dough manageable, and it didn't seem to make a significant change in the taste.

Dec 08, 2002

Extremely good.

Sep 17, 2005

Not what I expected, but they were very good. I expected a harder cookie, but these are a soft cookie with great flavor. My husband really likes these.

Dec 22, 2008

These are great! I made the first batch a too big and only got 23 so they were bigger than I was used to. Next time I will make them smaller and use a bag to shake them in powdered sugar to get a more even coating. I also noticed a slight pepper after taste not evident in store bought which are nearly impossible to find in South Carolina since Archway went out of business. I may cut back or eliminate the pepper depending on what my family thinks.

Nov 27, 2005

I know everyone else really liked these cookies, but I thought they were worst cookies I've ever made or tasted! The black pepper was definately evident! I will not even try to make these again. Sorry.

Dec 14, 2011

This didn't taste anything like pfeffernusse. Even not as pfeffernusse it tasted gross. It's very very clear this recipe was nothing more than an attempt to promote as many McCormick products as possible. Using a different brand for each of the items wouldn't have magically made this cookie taste good. This isn't a traditional cookie, it's an advertisement, and it tastes like it. Skip this recipe.


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  • Calories
  • 105 kcal
  • 5%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15.5 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 25 mg
  • 8%
  • Fat
  • 4.2 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 0.3 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 1.5 g
  • 3%
  • Sodium
  • 95 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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