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Delicious Pfeffernüsse Cookies

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Pfeffernüsse or German Gingerbread cookies have been a staple in my life for years now. I have always bought the store versions and have found them to be overly sweet. With notes of cinnamon and ginger, these cookies will surely not last.

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German Gingerbread Cookies

What is your favorite dessert? My favorite is gingerbread during the holiday season. More specifically, glazed German gingerbread, also more commonly known in Europe as pfeffernüsse. These cookies have always been my favorite, ever since I was a little girl. I made them for the first time and they are now my favorite again. I especially like homemade dishes because they don’t have the overly sweetness of the glaze that is put on during the process.

When I was little, I grew up on these delicious confections. Sometimes going as far as, begging or sneaking a bag up to my room. These cookies are deliciously warm, sweet and complex.

This recipe is just the start of my Christmas cookie countdown to Christmas. I may be a little late, making cookies everyday during the month of December. However, I am sure that I will be making up multiple cookies in one day and individually talking about them.

The spices are what make this delectable dessert so iconic. All within one cookie, there are hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, allspice, and cloves. If you make the spices together they make what is called lebkuchengewurz or German gingerbread spice.

If you’re looking for a new Christmas tradition or trying to remember a taste from your childhood, I am excited for you to give these treats a try.

What Are Pfeffernüsse Cookies

Pfeffernüsse cookies are small spiced cookies that are super popular in European countries. They are typically served on December 5th or 6th, when people celebrate the name day of Saint Nicholas.

Everyone has their own version of these cookies. I glaze mine with a homemade glaze, that doesn’t overpower the spices in the cookie, as well as it is sweetened with a molasses and sugar mixture.

What you need to make Pfeffernüsse cookies

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment Paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • a small cooking pot
  • your hands
  • small spatula

How To Make Pfeffernüsse Cookies

Don’t worry, the process is a lot easier than trying to spell the name of these cookies. Here’s how you do it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Measure your ingredients, as the first 2 are crucial and important. Please make sure that all ingredients are ready for insertion.

Pour the molasses and the granulated sugar into a pot. Turn the heat to medium and proceed to heat up the two ingredients. Constantly stir to prevent burning, as well as stirring to the point where the sugar has melted and the molasses is no longer grainy.

pfeffernüsse

Next, take the pot off of the heat and immediately mix in the spices. Let cool to a touch and mix in the baking powder, milk and egg. I find that the sugar molasses mixture starts to harden, so I put the pot back onto the heat for 2 minutes to soften. After its soft, I mix the next 3 ingredients into the mixture.

Pfeffernüsse

After you add those 3 ingredients, it will foam up like in the photo below.

Pfeffernüsse
pfeffernuse

After this, place a cup of flour at a time into the mixture. Mix until all the flour is incorporated. You may have to transfer to a mixing bowl to knead. Knead once you are unable to stir any longer.

Knead until the dough is tacky and the rest of the flour is incorporated into the dough.

Once the dough comes together, take out the kitchen scale, pinch off and measure 20g of dough. Otherwise you will have inconsistent sizing. Roll into a ball.

Place the balls onto a baking sheet covered by parchment paper and bake for 9-11 minutes. While those are baking make the glaze.

Mix together the 2 ingredients and coat the baked cookies. You can either dip the cookies or you can brush them on with a pastry brush.

Pfeffernüsse

These delicious cookies have a bit of a spiciness to them. not like hot spices, but more like a bite of black pepper. They are best a few days after baking, as they are better aged.
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Crystal Brunsdon

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • Spatula
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • cooking pot
  • scale

Ingredients

Cookies

  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Whole Milk cold from the refrigerator
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg cold from the refrigerator
  • 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Pour the molasses and sugar into a pot, stir until the sugar is melted and the molasses is not grainy.
  • Take the pot off of heat and pour the spices into the mixture and stir. Cool until just warm to the touch. It may be a little difficult to stir for the next step. I usually place the pot back onto the heat to heat up the molasses until easier to stir.
  • Insert the egg, milk and baking soda and stir until fully incorporated.The mixture will foam up as you stir. This is normal.
  • Add flour, one cup at a time, until the dough starts to form. Transfer to a mixing bowl and need until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Pinch off a small 20g, 1 inch ball and place on baking sheets. Continue until all dough is used.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes. While the cookies are baking, make the glaze

Glaze

  • In a separate bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and 1 tbsp. of water. The mixture should be a little runny but still firm.
  • After cookies are baked, let them cool so not scalding, but hot enough to let the glaze stick and to be handled.
  • You can either brush the glaze on, or you can take the cookie, turn it upside down and dip it into the glaze, making sure to get the whole sphere.
  • Let it cool completely and enjoy.

Notes

These cookies are best served a few days after baking. Gingerbread ages which gives it that unique taste. 
STORING:
Storing these cookies is easy. You can place them into a sealed container and they are as fresh as when they are first baked.  
 
 
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Food

The Best Fall Recipes To Warm Your Soul

Fall is only a few days away and I am excited about sweater and scarf weather. The sound of crunchy leaves underneath my feet, the brisk “winter is coming” wind. The sound of children laughing, playing in crunchy leaf piles.

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Especially when Halloween comes in. Children going door-to-door, collecting goodies from neighbours, all decked out in their favourite characters of the year.

This is one of my favourite seasons, aside from winter. Not to mention, the holiday of Thanksgiving. Here in Canada, we celebrate in October. Just before Halloween.

Fall

Fall is the time of year where families get together to have a warm hearty meal, one that warms your soul from the inside out. While I test out recipes for my family, I think about how my husband can have a nice warm hearty lunch the next day. He works out in the cold 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Not only that, I have to think about what my picky eater will eat as well! We haven’t tried him on soup yet, but we are working on getting him to try new things daily.

This post will contain a mix of hearty soups for the crockpot, casseroles for the stove and delicious desserts, all of which will link to a separate page for the recipe.

Kielbasa and Potato Soup

If you are a fan of sausages, specifically kielbasa (a polish type of sausage), then you will love this recipe. It has a good amount of sausage, potatoes and comes with a creamy broth.

This is perfect for the stove or the crockpot. Each recipe is different slightly to average the cooking times but always turns out so good. I love making this recipe not only because I love kielbasa and potatoes, but because this recipe is best when potatoes are fresh.

Going to the farmer’s markets to grab potatoes locally is always best when you want to maintain freshness, as well as avoid green potatoes. The potatoes you get from the store are usually shipped from other places, so they are picked early and shipped to ripen.

Chilli – Fall Favourite

Chilli is a great go-to for fall. It’s hearty, warm and very fulfilling. It can also contain all of the food groups if you include garlic bread.

I love to add cheese to my chilli to make it creamy and cheesy. It comes with ground beef, beans (you can choose any beans, I love using a mix of hickory beans and maple beans), corn. You can also add jalapenos for a bit of heat if you so wish.

My husband and I go to a store that is in Tsawwassen Mills mall. It’s called The Pepper Palace. They also have an online store as well. You can order a variety of different hot sauces, barbeque sauces and marinades as well. He either goes in-store or orders online the Ghost Pepper hot sauce, Doc Habanero, Chili the Kid.

He loves to add one of these sauces to his chilli for the heat. Sometimes I add a little to the whole batch and it gives it a nice little kick. Not too much of a kick that I or Lukas can’t handle, but enough for him.

Squash Soup

Squash soup is a great soup for fall. The benefits of squash are numerous. There is a wide variety of different types of squash. The main 2 types are summer squash, which is harvested when immature, and winter squash, which spends more time on the vine and has a hard exterior.

High antioxidents can reduce the risk of oxidents which can reduce the risk of cancer. It also has the benefits of improved eye health, a reduced risk of depression, as well as improved skin health.

Squash is also a good source of magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, iron, and vitamin B6, as well as high in fiber which will aid in digestion.

Squash soup is prepared by boiling cubed squash, then pureeing the boiled squash. After its heated, you can add other ingredients to make it even more hearty.

Lasagna

If you search up lasagna on the internet, you will be met with a wide variety of different types, such as chicken lasagna, meaty, vegetarian, etc. I personally love chicken lasagna because you get to put alfredo sauce on it. It’s my favourite because its creamy.

I also recommend it for picky eaters, as they love to get messy sometimes and they love noodles. You can also make a deconstructed lasagna, to appease those eaters.

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo or Matzah ball soup is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish passover dish. It is traditionally served during passover, but I love to make it during the fall as the benefits of the dish is great during the cold season.

Chicken soup broth has many different benefits such as nutrients like niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and potassium. A traditional Matzo ball soup is made with chicken soup and the matzo balls are a form of unleavened bread.

When making this dish, it is great to make your stock from scratch as you don’t know what additives are put into the store bought. If you are able to purchase chicken stock from a great place, then you’re golden.

Any Type of Soup is Great for Fall

When making soup, I love to think of the different benefits that will help the immune system during this season. Every type of soup has some kind of benefit. When I was growing up, my fostermom made chicken soup from scratch, made a stew called bigos, and also a lovely egg soup.

We travelled a lot to little farms to get fresh chicken, duck, and other fresh vegetables from her friend. Chicken soup is great for the soul, has many benefits like the ones I mentioned above and is great for the immune system.

Apple Pie

The best part of fall is the crisp apples. You can bake them, broil them, and eat them just as it is. Apple pie is one of the many favourite desserts of the fall.

The flaky pie shell, the wonderful aroma of baked apples and the different spices. Now I am not one for pie, but I love this one.

There are many different types of desserts that I can get into that relate to fall, but I won’t be able to get to them all. You can always search my site for the different recipes. (when they come)

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls are perfect any time of year, but the best time is first thing in the morning, with a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer). To make it more fall related, you can substitute regular butter for some great home made apple butter and cinnamon.

Cream cheese is a great frosting for cinnamon buns, but have you tried spiced cream cheese, or even pumpkin spiced frosting? Those sound so good right now.

Apple Spice Cake

At the time of this post, I wanted to get back into baking and the first thought that came to my head is apple spice cake, with streusel topping.

This cake is great for those who want to celebrate the fall equinox, or even as a great fall item. I haven’t baked in so long, that I worry it won’t turn out right, but I know my husband will eat it regardless of how it turns out.

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite fall dish is.