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Author Notes: I can still picture Grandpa shelling the walnuts for these Christmastime favorites. The original recipe called for lard. I now use butter. I also bake them on kitchen parchment, something unheard of in Grandma's day. —mary beth
Food52 Review: WHO: Mary beth has just celebrated her one year anniversary as a member of Food52.
WHAT: Bite-size spice cookies just like Grandma used to make.
HOW: Whisk flour with ground cardamom and more ground cloves than you’re comfortable with. Add in a mixture of baking soda and molasses, an egg, and chopped walnuts. Form into tiny cookies, bake for 10 minutes, then dip in powdered sugar.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These cookies don’t rely on a long list of spices for that traditional pfeffernuse flavor—instead, they lean heavily on ground cloves (we used 2 teaspoons, but go for 3 if you're more daring). They’re sweet, spicy, and small enough that you can fit two in your mouth at once. —The Editors
Makes about 11 dozen
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon ground cardamom
tablespoon ground cloves (see editor's headnote)
teaspoon baking soda
cup chopped walnuts
- Whisk flour, cardamom, and cloves together. Set aside.
- In a 2-cup or larger measuring cup, stir the baking soda into the molasses. Set aside. (This will foam up quite bit, thus the need for a larger cup.)
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well again.
- Add molasses and flour mixtures to butter mixture in 3 to 4 additions, alternating between wet and dry ingredients. Beat well after each addition—the batter will be sticky.
- Fold in the walnuts. Refrigerate overnight or up to several days before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and use your hands to roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Roll in them powdered sugar while still warm.
- This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe