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Have you ever made Pfefferneusse (German spice cookies)


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I could be spelling that wrong. 

These are one of my favorite holiday cookies and I do buy them from the grocery store when they turn up each year. I would like to try making them, though. I see two schools of thought: the confectioner's sugar-dusted type and the iced type. I think I want to try making the confectioner's sugar type, though the iced, I'm sure, is delicious. 

Do you have a recipe? 

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I'm wondering if these taste like the spice cookies they eat in Russia? They were so common people laughed at me when I BEGGED them to show me how to make them. So essential...

https://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/recipes/russianrecipes/pryaniki-russian-honey-spice-cookies/  This is popping up for the russian version, hmm. A bake off is in order. Or at least a comparison.

Edited by PeterPan
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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I'm wondering if these taste like the spice cookies they eat in Russia? They were so common people laughed at me when I BEGGED them to show me how to make them. So essential...

https://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/recipes/russianrecipes/pryaniki-russian-honey-spice-cookies/  This is popping up for the russian version, hmm. A bake off is in order. Or at least a comparison.

It certainly does appear very similar, if not identical. 

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I’ve only had the powdered sugar kind, and my family is German, so I think that is traditional/authentic.  But that’s one recipe no one seems to have.  I hear that it is an extremely heavy dough, very hard to mix and handle.  A mixer breaker.  And that once you have it mixed, you wrestle it into small logs, chill them, and cut off little pieces to roll into balls between your hands and then roll in powdered sugar—not sure whether only after baking or before and after.  That’s all I know.  That recipe is lost forever as is my Grandmother’s Springele recipe and how she made prime rib roast.

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Makes about 7 doz. The best Christmas cookie ever


4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cardamom seed
1 teaspoon anise seed
4 oz candied orange peel
3 slices of candied ginger
12 dried prunes (mine were very dry and lemon flavored)
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs separated
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated lemon rind
Confectioners sugar to roll in


Mix flour and spices in a big bowl
Grind candied orange peel and prunes
(I threw in the anise seed too - in the middle)
Add to flour mixture - mix with hands to get rid of sticky clumps
transfer the flour stuff into a plastic bag so you can use that same bowl
separate the eggs – whites into clean med bowl – yolks into the bowl the flour stuff was in
In med sized bowl - Whip egg whites till stiff
- mix sugar and butter and egg yolks and lemon rind (beat well with electric mixer) Whipping the eggs first keeps you from having to clean the beaters
Dump the flour mixture into the egg yolk/sugar mixture and mix well with spoon
- it looks like pie crust crumbs
Then dump in the stiffly beaten egg whites and mix
- use a good sturdy wooden spoon - this is work
it becomes a stiff sticky dough
Refrigerate at least 1 hour
(I let it sit 3 hours while I cleaned up, had lunch and made another batch of cookies)
With floured hands - shape into nickel sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets
Keep a puddle of flour to keep dusting your hands with - it is a sticky dough
I used baking parchment to put the balls on because I don't have two big cookie sheets
Leave an inch of room between them, they do puff a bit and spread slightly
Let stand at room temp 12 hours (I am doing it overnight)
Bake at 350 for 15 min
Rub with confectioners sugar

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

Makes about 7 doz. The best Christmas cookie ever


4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cardamom seed
1 teaspoon anise seed
4 oz candied orange peel
3 slices of candied ginger
12 dried prunes (mine were very dry and lemon flavored)
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs separated
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated lemon rind
Confectioners sugar to roll in


Mix flour and spices in a big bowl
Grind candied orange peel and prunes
(I threw in the anise seed too - in the middle)
Add to flour mixture - mix with hands to get rid of sticky clumps
transfer the flour stuff into a plastic bag so you can use that same bowl
separate the eggs – whites into clean med bowl – yolks into the bowl the flour stuff was in
In med sized bowl - Whip egg whites till stiff
- mix sugar and butter and egg yolks and lemon rind (beat well with electric mixer) Whipping the eggs first keeps you from having to clean the beaters
Dump the flour mixture into the egg yolk/sugar mixture and mix well with spoon
- it looks like pie crust crumbs
Then dump in the stiffly beaten egg whites and mix
- use a good sturdy wooden spoon - this is work
it becomes a stiff sticky dough
Refrigerate at least 1 hour
(I let it sit 3 hours while I cleaned up, had lunch and made another batch of cookies)
With floured hands - shape into nickel sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets
Keep a puddle of flour to keep dusting your hands with - it is a sticky dough
I used baking parchment to put the balls on because I don't have two big cookie sheets
Leave an inch of room between them, they do puff a bit and spread slightly
Let stand at room temp 12 hours (I am doing it overnight)
Bake at 350 for 15 min
Rub with confectioners sugar

This sounds really good.  I am positive that there was no fruit in the ones we used to have, though.

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My family is from Germany and this is the Pfeffernusse recipe that my family based their various versions from. I cut the butter/shortening in half and just soften instead of melting, plus I add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp white pepper, and 1/4 tsp allspice. Most family members left the butter out altogether, which I think it traditional.

My copy of the recipe says "makes a lot" and it definitely does. If you decide to try it, I'd suggest cutting it in half the first time. 

Pfeffernusse

(These are best when made several weeks in advance.)

3 eggs 
2 cups sugar 
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
2 cups honey
2 teaspoons anise extract
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp baking soda
9 cups flour (may need more to make a dough that can be rolled into balls)

In a mixing bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the butter, coffee, honey , and anise extract.  Measure the flour into a separate bowl and mix in the cloves, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda. Add half the flour to the mixture and blend well. Continue adding one cup at a time and mix well. 

Let sit overnight in the refrigerator. 

Line cookie sheets with parchment (or grease) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to form balls and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool overnight before icing. 

Icing: Combine powdered sugar and evaporated milk in a large bowl until it's the consistency of honey. Gently toss the cookies until they're completely coated with icing. Lift out and let the excess icing drip off. Place on parchment or wax paper to harden overnight. 

Icing - Mix evaporated canned milk into powdered sugar—make it fairly thin. Mix cookies into icing and lift out, letting the excess drip off. Place on parchment or wax paper and let harden. Store in a cookie tin.

Edited by Pippen
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  • 1 month later...

I have a recipe cut out of newspaper by my Mom that is very similar to one above published by "Terabith" and commented by "Carol in Cal."  Instead of candied ginger and prunes, it has 8 oz citron; also, the butter is less @ 2 tablespoons.  I just made these and waiting for the 12 hours to pass.  May have to bake in the morning.

 

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On 11/25/2020 at 7:05 PM, Quill said:

I could be spelling that wrong. 

These are one of my favorite holiday cookies and I do buy them from the grocery store when they turn up each year. I would like to try making them, though. I see two schools of thought: the confectioner's sugar-dusted type and the iced type. I think I want to try making the confectioner's sugar type, though the iced, I'm sure, is delicious. 

Do you have a recipe? 

Trader Joe’s has a kit. 😬 Just add butter and eggs. Your house will smell amazing. 

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On 11/25/2020 at 7:12 PM, PeterPan said:

I'm wondering if these taste like the spice cookies they eat in Russia? They were so common people laughed at me when I BEGGED them to show me how to make them. So essential...

https://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/recipes/russianrecipes/pryaniki-russian-honey-spice-cookies/  This is popping up for the russian version, hmm. A bake off is in order. Or at least a comparison.

My son makes this recipe every year- they are delicious!!!  His Russian teacher in college was awesome- she taught them to cook some traditional recipes and this was one of them. Make half a batch- it makes a bajillion. 

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