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 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
This recipe makes a LOT of Pfeffernuesse, but they keep in the cookie-jar for months.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together, sequentially, the butter, eggs, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Sift in, and mix in, all the other dry ingredients.
- Knead the dough lightly, roll it gently into snakes, and cut them into fingernail-size bits.
- Arrange the bits on greased baking sheets and bake each batch about 10 minutes.