I agree. Totally weird name. Totally weird spelling. But also totally incredible!

These delectable german bites have been a favorite of mine and my family’s for years. They are full of spices and are perfect to be eaten with tea, coffee, or just popped into your mouth!

To make things easier, you can call them the english version of pfeffernüsse; peppernuts.

From what I’ve read, pfeffernüsse are a holiday tradition in Denmark, Germany, and Belgium. They traditionally contain black pepper and ground nuts, hence the name. Ironically, this recipe has no nuts in it at all. So if you’re looking for the exact traditional recipe, it’s not here 🙂 But I assure you, they are still delicious, and they still taste like pfeffernüsse.

Just a warning, these take FOREVER. I made the peanut butter cookies from my previous post while these were chilling, so I was in the kitchen for a little over three hours, constantly on my feet. Sitting at this computer right now is a relief for my feet, but these cookies are totally worth it! They take about two hours to make, from start to finish.






3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cardamom

⅓ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

16 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened

⅔  cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup molasses

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Confectioners’ sugar



  1. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, ginger, and cardamon in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine water and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, molasses, and maple syrup together with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined 3-6 minutes.
  4. Slowly beat in water mixture until combined, about 2 minutes.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide into 12 equal pieces.
  8. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into ½-inch thick rope and cup rope crosswise into ½-inch lengths. Transfer cookies to prepared sheets, spaced about a ½ inch apart. (Basically if you can’t remember a measurement for this part, go with ½ inch 🙂 )
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. switched and rotating sheets halfway through baking. (I did mine for 14 minutes because I like them softer) Let cookies cool completely on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to platter.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough using cooled, freshly lined baking sheets.
  11. When cookies are completely cooled, put them in a very large bowl with some confectioners’ sugar and lightly toss to incorporate.
  12. When all the pfeffernüsse are lightly coated, you’re good to go!



Source: Das Kochbuch meiner Mutter (My mother’s cookbook) 😉