pfeffernüssen

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This is the first post in almost two months! First, I’d like to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Second, I’d like to say sorry for being a bit of a procrastinator and taking so long to write again! The food blogging delay was mostly for good reason though. For those of you who don’t know me that well yet, besides being a baking lover, I’m also a graphic designer. I’ve spent the majority of this past year doing freelance design projects. Being your own boss is tricky, but oh so wonderful. For awhile now, when I have time I really enjoy designing greeting cards to give to family and friends. Over this last year I started getting serious about them, and started selling them on Etsy. If you don’t know Etsy yet, oh my you should visit there first and come back to me later! But anyways, I’ve been lucky enough to have enough orders to keep me quite busy during this holiday season. If you have time and would like to see my shop, you can here.

Now that it’s just about Christmas Day,  I’ve had some time to relax and get back to things like baking just in time for my favorite time of year. Christmas is my favorite. Everything is cozy and sparkly and delicious. I spent all of today baking cookies, and I plan on spending most of tomorrow doing the same! This is my first time making Pfeffernüssen (which translates literally to “pepper nuts” I believe), and although they aren’t exactly the same as the ones I had while living in Germany, they are a pretty darn good substitute. They are spicy, slightly peppery, and very cozy tasting, and a great alternative for the classic gingerbread men cookies (which are still on my list for tomorrow’s baking). They also look like they are covered in snow which is just plain cute.

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slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioners’ sugar in some sort of bag. I used a plastic ziplock bag. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. Set aside.

Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and sort of fluffy. Beat in the molasses. Then beat in egg and vanilla. Add in the flour mixture slowly, just until combined. Pinch off dough in tablespoon amounts; roll into 1-inch balls. Arrange balls about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. (Dough can be frozen at this point, covered tightly with plastic wrap, up to 1 month.)

Bake until cookies are golden and firm to the touch with slight cracking, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Working in batches, place cookies in the bag with the powdered sugar and shake until well coated. Let cool completely on wire rack. Store in an airtight container. If the cookies become hard, just stick a slice of sandwich bread in the container and they’ll become soft again. Happy Holidays!

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