Holiday baking season has officially arrived! What’s on your list this year? I decided to pull out a recipe from my childhood this year – Peppernut Cookies. I started with my Aunt Marcia’s recipe and made a few tweaks of my own. According to Wikepedia Peppernuts, or Pfeffernüsse, are tiny spice cookies that are popular in Germany, the Netherlands and among ethnic Mennonites. Well, I suppose it was fate because my husband’s family is German and my Mother’s family are ethnic Mennonites! These little cookies are traditionally linked to the Sinterklaas festival celebrated on December 5th or 6th depending on the country.
I had already decided to make Peppernut Cookies this week before I looked up the origin, but we are right on time! These are best a little crunchy like a nut. It does take a few steps to make them but it’s a fun project with kids if you have them. These little morsels are sweet, spicy, crunchy and surprisingly addictive! This recipe makes about 8 cups so there’s plenty to go around. Perfect for a holiday party or an evening at home with hot chocolate.
I hope your holiday season is off to a good start. It’s pretty warm in Ohio right now and we didn’t get a tree yet so it so it doesn’t feel much like Christmas so far. I think it’s time to get out some of those decorations and fill the house with the smell of cookies. It probably doesn’t help that we’ve all taken turns being sick since Thanksgiving. That does detract a bit from the holiday spirit!
What’s your favorite holiday cookie? I think sugar cookie cut-outs are probably at the top of the list in our house. Next week we’re going to try something new and have a cookie decorating party with friends. I imagine it will be sugary, messy and most of all fun! The key will be having plenty of different fun kinds of sprinkles, because we all know sprinkles are the best part of cookie decorating, right?
I hope you love these little European Christmas cookies as much as we do. Thanks for pinning and sharing!
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 11 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes + freezing
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: Cookies
Try a traditional European Christmas cookie recipe this year. Peppernut Cookies are a little sweet, spicy, crunchy and surprisingly addictive!
- 1–1/3 cup (315 g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 3–1/4 cups (440 g) unbleached flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup (35 g) finely chopped nuts (I use walnuts or pecans or a mix of both)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp hot water
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour through salt).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the sugar and butter with the paddle attachment.
- Add the egg, molasses, vanilla and hot water and beat.
- Pour in the dry ingredients and mix. You can use a dough hook if you like. Add the last two Tablespoons of hot water and combine.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or two.
- Dust your hands and the counter with a little flour. Take a chunk of dough about the size of a baseball and roll it out into a long “snake” about 1/4-1/2″ across. Continue until all the dough is rolled out. Place the dough on wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F (175 C) and line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Take out your cookie dough one “snake” at a time and quickly slice it into little cookies about 1/8 – 1/4″ thick. Place them close together onto the cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown.
- Cool on the counter.
- Let them cool before you eat them so the flavors have time to intensify!
If you want to have fun play around with the spices in your cookies!
Keywords: peppernut cookie recipe, european christmas cookie recipe, spicy crunchy peppernut cookie