Pfeffernuesse (Peppery Gingerbread)

Recipe by Thorsten
READY IN: 1hr 15mins
YIELD: 48 cookies




  • Mix flour and baking soda and set aside.
  • Bring butter, dark molasses, sugar, and spices in a pot to a boil and remove from heat.
  • Add flour at once and stir in quickly.
  • Let dough cool down. Then wrap into cling film and put into the fridge. Leave it there overnight.
  • On the next day: The dough should be very firm. Halve it with a knife. Set one half aside for the moment. Divide the halved dough into 8 pieces. Each of the 8 pieces divide into 3 little pieces (they should have almost the size of nuts).
  • First knead the little pieces of dough, so that they get a little waxier. Then roll them between your hands to form a little ball. Place them on a plate and put in the fridge. Do the same with the second half of the dough.
  • Let the dough balls rest in the fridge for one hour.
  • Meanwhile preheat oven (360 F, 180 C). Line out two baking trays with baking paper. Take the dough balls out of the fridge and put them on the baking tray.
  • Put baking tray into the lower third of the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies will flatten a bit and should be golden. They are still soft.
  • Put them on a cooling rack and let the them cool completely.
  • While the first batch is baking do the same as described above with the second half of dough.
  • Mix powdered sugar with as little lime juice as possible to form a glaze. The glaze should be pasty, so use as much lime juice you need to get this consistency. Decorate the Pfeffernüsse with the glaze. I use an icing bag with a very small opening to decorate the Pfeffernüsse with the pasty glaze.
  • Store the Pfeffernüsse between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container. You can store them in a dry and not too warm place for about 4 weeks.
  • NOTE: I use anise seeds and ground them freshly. The anise flavour will be more intense.
  • Cooking time does not include time for cooling (overnight and additional 1 hour). Passive work (baking) time is for 1 baking tray.