…is easily one of my favourite all times words to say. It’s the funnest! The P is silent, and ü makes a nice ooo sound. It’s a real pleasure, trust me. Put on your best German accent and try it sometime. But before you do that, bake a batch. Because they are one hell of a holiday cookie!
The traditional pfeffernüsse is very dark and spicy. The direct translation is ‘pepper nuts’ – are you surprised I stuck with pfeffernüsse? – and they definitely live up to the peppy name. My recipe takes out the darker elements, like molasses and cloves and masses of black pepper and replaces them with lighter, more golden tones.
I like my cookie to be fragrant with a nice flowery honey, and spicy with ginger, but in a bright way instead of being dark and heavy. Which isn’t to say that I have no time for dark and spicy gingerbread, quite the opposite, but I wanted the flavour of the honey to shine through in these.
And it really does SHINE. It’s important to use a honey that you like the flavour of, and this is the perfect place to showcase something a little different. I used a chestnut honey that was beautiful. But I have to say, these would be equally good with any old squeeze bottle honey as well.
They are the perfect cookie for packing up and giving out as gifts. As you can see, I dipped half into dark chocolate, and the other half got dredged in icing sugar. Either option is delicious, but I am a fiend for chocolate so those are my favourites. If I was giving them as a gift I would probably do the powdered sugar ones though, because I live in Australia, and it’s way too hot to be transporting chocolate around right now.
These Honey & Ginger Pfeffernüsse tick all my cookie boxes. They’re buttery and crumbly, packed with flavour and spice, and they are easily eaten in two bites. I love a two bite cookie, because it somehow makes eating a shedload of them feel more acceptable. They’re dainty.
Also, do you like my paper snowflakes? I made them myself using this tutorial over on High Walls. They’re talented over there that’s for sure. I am 100% craftily challenged, and even I could make these! So, are you stuck into your holiday baking yet? Or trying any crafts this year? I’d love to hear what you’re making.
Honey and Ginger Pfeffernusse
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit.
Makes 40 small cookies.
1 stick + 1 tbsp (125g) butter
1/2 cup (120g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (65g) honey
2 1/3 cups (350g) plain flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated if you can)
1/2 tsp allspice
Optional: icing/powdered sugar or melted chocolate to decorate.
Cream together the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy, and then add the egg and continue to beat until slightly lighter in colour, about 20-30 seconds. Sift in the remaining ingredients, and then mix together until completely combined, before wrapping the dough in plastic wrap and placing in the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 160C/325F and line two baking sheets with baking paper. Pinch off walnut sized pieces of dough and roll them in your hands briefly before placing them on the cookie sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, or until they are lightly golden and feel firm to the touch. If you want to, you can toss the warm cookies in powdered sugar, or wait until they are cool and dip them in melted chocolate.