• 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground anise
Various German folk make different kinds of Pfeffernuesse. The ones I make are in the tradition of the German-Russian Mennonites of central Kansas. Now, most of the Pfeffernuesse you get in that part of the country are mighty hard and crunchy; folks dunk them in coffee before eating, and they use the leftover ones to fill holes in their driveways. The ones I make are not so hard, and they bake up more flat than round. My recipe comes from my good old cousin Bernice.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cream together, sequentially, the butter, eggs, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Sift in, and mix in, all the other dry ingredients.

  4. Knead the dough lightly, roll it gently into snakes, and cut them into fingernail-size bits.

  5. Arrange the bits on greased baking sheets and bake each batch about 10 minutes.
This recipe makes a LOT of Pfeffernuesse, but they keep in the cookie-jar for months.