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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dark Pfeffernusse

This is my dad’s all time favorite cookie.  A batch of these will last him a good long while since he made a habit long ago of eating them very slowly in order to make them last as long as possible. :-)  They are German in origin and Daddy used to receive a box of them every Christmas from a Mennonite friend in his home church.  He says he could usually make them last till Easter. 
If they are hardened properly they will last a very long time and stay fresh.  Consequently, these would probably be good cookies to send to troops overseas.  They are also best eaten with a hot drink such as tea or coffee if you don’t happen to like gnawing hard cookies.  My husband calls these “dog biscuits”. :-)  They are not quite that hard, but they can be pretty “firm”. 
  This particular batch was made with candied citrus peel in it that Mom and I made recently.  It made the cookies moister and they never did get really hard.
Dark Pfeffernusse
1/2 C. shortening
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. molasses
mixture of 3 drops of anise oil and 1 Tbl. hot water

3 1/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. white pepper
(Increase spices if you like a stronger taste.)

Mix dry ingredients into wet gradually with hands.  Knead dough until right consistency for molding.  Roll into strips and cut into bite-size pieces with scissors.  Bake on greased baking sheet at 350 degrees about 8 minutes.  If you want them hard allow to sit out till hardened.


  1. MMm... lip smackin' goodness there.

  2. I love your post! I did a search on "Pfeffernusse" to see if I spelled it correctly as I was telling a friend of mine about a rock-hard cookie my grandma used to make (who is Mennonite) and how my dad loves them. I plan on making those again this year. Now I'm going to search thru the rest of your blog - looks like fun! :)


    1. Glad you found what you were looking for. Hope you enjoy the blog. :-)