Serves a Crowd

"Pfeffernusse" or peppernut cookies with cranberries

June 22, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 3-4 dozen
Author Notes

Peppernut cookies are a great holiday treat. I first made these for Food52 this summer with fresh cherries as a theme. You can make these with cherries (dried or fresh), dried cranberries or any dried fruit you like. For thanksgiving and the holidays I think cranberries are great. I have also experimented with cocoa as a dusting. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup acacia honey
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 ounces dried premium cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • 2 cups organic pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder for another twist
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  1. Mix the butter, honey and molasses together; add the egg; and then add all the sugar.
  2. Add the cranberries, fresh ginger, and brandy to the mix.
  3. Gradually sift in the flour mixed with the baking soda, salt, and all the dry spices, including the cocoa.
  4. Shape the dough into a large ball to refrigerate for at least two hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325. Form tablespoon-sized balls from the cold dough and arrange on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet, allowing at least an inch and a half of space in between for 2" cookies. Make cherry-sized balls for a smaller version, which will cook more quickly. Bake 10-14 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Using a fine sieve, generously sift confectioner's sugar on top. If you dare, sift some unsweetened cocoa on a few as well as the confectioner's sugar. These are not for the faint- hearted.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • aargersi
  • NakedBeet
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser

11 Reviews

Sagegreen June 28, 2010
I like to make a soft, chewy rendition of these. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge. The powder sugar holds up fine, and the cookies get softer and chewier. I suggest eating these cold, served with an iced coffee, in the summer months.
Sagegreen November 5, 2010
In the fall these are great with mulled cider.
Sagegreen June 24, 2010
Ok, now the photo sequence is loaded, I wish there were a simpler way to re-order the photos. I wind up removing and then uploading them. Is there a better way?
Amanda H. June 25, 2010
One way to re-order photos is to click on the "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" symbols (bottom left of photo) -- clicking up will move the photo to the front, down will move it toward the back. You'll need to refresh your page to see it take effect. Hope this helps!
Sagegreen June 23, 2010
Ok. The jury is back. I really do love the cherries. If I had fresh sour cherries handy, I would use those, but these sweet red cherries have worked just fine. I uploaded several photos to show the process.
aargersi June 23, 2010
I have never heard of a Pfeffernusse before but they SOUND great - please report final results! Am loving all of your recipes - you really love cherries don't you??
Sagegreen June 23, 2010
Thank you so much. I just visited yours as well. Love your adventure! Will be trying out some of your recipes, too. You are my first fan! I haven't figured out this whole process yet, but it sure is fun.
Sagegreen June 22, 2010
Honestly, the jury is still out on this one, since I have not actually sampled the finished result. This is my favorite pfeffernusse recipe though, and I will bake these this week and report back.
NakedBeet June 22, 2010
I think you can edit up until the deadline. ; )
NakedBeet June 22, 2010
Thank you!!!! I won't be waiting till December to try these. ; )
Sagegreen June 22, 2010
You are very welcome. After I bake these, I may revise the recipe!