This is from Williams Sonoma and it has been a family favorite for years. It is a great twist on Gingerbread cookies.
- 2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed anise seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup light molasses (unsulfured)
- 1 egg
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, for dusting (icing)
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, pepper, aniseeds, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a large bowl, using an electic mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter, brown sugar and molasses until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Beat in the egg.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
- Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Butter 2 baking sheets, scoop up pieces of dough and roll between your palms into balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Place the balls on the cookie sheets spacing them about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and firm to the touch, about 14 minutes.
- Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool slightly on the sheets.
- Place the confectioners' sugar in a sturdy paper bag, drop a few cookies into the bag, close the top securely, and shake gently to coat the warm cookies with the sugar.
- Transfer to racks and let cool completely.
- Repeat with the remaining cookies.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
1st of all, I have to say I personally HATE this cookie...always have, always will - just not my thing! That said - my husband was lying in bed reminissing over his mothers perfect pepper cookies - sigh, I never got the recipe, one evening this week.
Leave it to 'Zaar - here is one that is simple, great dough to work with and tastes just like his moms!
Even better with a lemon glaze. Use the icing sugar and enough lemon juice to make a thick paste, and coat the cookies with the glaze.
My German grandmother always had pfeffernusse on hand for the holidays, though I don't recall her ever making them from scratch. This past Christmas, I was feeling especially nostalgic and decided that I *needed* Pfeffernusse, and that store-bought just wouldn't do. I searched and searched for just the right recipe. THIS is IT. This was my first time making pfeffernusse, and they came out perfect. I brought a huge platter of them to my new fiance's family for their Christmas party, where the cookies were a huge hit. I took the rest and made a holiday "tree" out of them -- decorated with fake berries and leaves -- which I used as an edible centerpiece at our own holiday party. The only problem? Guests thought it was too pretty to eat! :)