You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this time of year to get here! I absolutely love the Holiday season….and more importantly, the baking adventures it brings. I’ve already been baking all kinds of cookies and having tons of fun trying new recipes. Like these Pfeffernüsse – German spice cookies, traditionally made at Christmas.


I first fell in love with these in college while taking a German course. My professor had just gotten back from Germany and brought us a whole array of German Christmas cookies to try. These were among them, and ooooh boy, were they good! Since then, I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe for Pfeffernüsse, so I can make them at home. This recipe is a Martha Stewart, and while it’s close….it’s not exactly what I’m looking for. However, the cookies were delicious (sort of like a molasses cookie) and my co-workers seemed to really enjoy them.

-Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place confectioners’ sugar in a brown paper bag (I used a bowl).
In a medium bowl, combine flour, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. Set aside.
Place butter, brown sugar, and molasses in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Pinch off dough in tablespoon amounts; roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Arrange balls 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (Dough can be frozen at this point, covered tightly with plastic wrap, up to 1 month).

Bake until cookies are golden and firm to the touch with slight cracking, about 15 minutes. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Working in batches, place cookies in paper bag; shake until well coated. Let cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container.


And now here’s the part that I’m most excited about: my first giveaway!!! It being cookie season and all (and because they started playing Christmas music on XM radio!), I thought it only fitting to give you a little something to get you started.


I recently saw this book reviewed on The National Cookie Network blog and immediately bought one. Great tips and pictures showing you how to perfectly decorate cookies for any occasion (with an entire section dedicated to Christmas cookies!). Perfect for a cookie decorating idiot like myself. And since it’s so fantastic, I decided to get an extra copy for you!! AND since you can’t make great holiday cookies without some fabulous cookie cutters: this Holiday Linzer Cookie Cut-Out set is yours as well. Woo Hoo!!



All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment on this post answering this little question:

What Holiday cookie are you dying to try this year?


1.) Only one entry per person, please

2.) You have until midnight Friday, Nov. 20. I’ll post the winner on Monday.

Good luck!!



  1. I am looking forward to doing Springerle for the second year in a row and hopefully getting them perfect this time. they’re a tricky cookie!


    Comment by Rachel — November 17, 2009 @ 11:52 AM

  2. What a fantastic giveaway. I think if you’re looking for something more authentic you might try Beatrice Ojakangus ( I can never get her name right ). Anyway, she’s an American with a Norse background who has travelled all over the area collecting authentic recipes. She is well known and has written several cookbooks. I believe one of them is on Christmas baking alone. Good luck!


    Comment by Laurel — November 17, 2009 @ 12:19 PM

  3. I can’t wait to try the lace cookie recipe that my Mom always made for us when we were kids. Hope they turn out for me!!


    Comment by Michele Albert — November 17, 2009 @ 12:36 PM

  4. i can’t wait to bake up a batch of my other favorite german cookie — vanille kipferl. my mom has the recipe from my great grandmother, who came from germany, and they’re always my favorite. last year, i dropped the box of them… and while the broken bits were still tasty, i’m hoping to redeem myself this year!


    Comment by Jenny — November 17, 2009 @ 1:06 PM

  5. I love gingerbread cookies, gingersnaps, molasses cookies, anything gingery! I will also be baking the “family” cookie we call Bon Bons. Thanks for having a giveaway!


    Comment by Chan — November 17, 2009 @ 1:16 PM

  6. It’s not a cookie, but I’m going to be trying my grandmother’s pumpkin roll for the holidays. Recently, I have been going through her old baking recipes and this is next on the list. I can’t think of a family gathering where we haven’t had her pumpkin roll.


    Comment by Laura Petravage — November 17, 2009 @ 1:20 PM

  7. My oma is from Austria so she has had me find diffrent recipes from Austria, Germany and surounding areas. I will have to try this one. I am looking forward to trying this one. I am going to try a few new cookies this year, but I am looking forward to trying a shortbread cookie recipe.


    Comment by Jackie — November 17, 2009 @ 1:22 PM

  8. Dorie Greenspan’s linzer cookies!


    Comment by Jason — November 17, 2009 @ 1:31 PM

  9. I cannot wait to try making linzer cookies! Christmas is the best time of year, especially for baking 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!


    Comment by Jeanette — November 17, 2009 @ 1:34 PM

  10. My great grandmother’s recipe for Lebkuchen.


    Comment by The Milkman — November 17, 2009 @ 1:46 PM

  11. What a great give away! I keep my fingers crossed. I think I will bake “Vanillekipferl”. Cute and delicious


    Comment by Sofie — November 17, 2009 @ 1:53 PM

  12. These cookies look so great! I too look forward to this time of year. I love the fall flavors. These cookies sound like spiced mexican wedding cookies.
    What Christmas cookies am I gonna make? A version of my butter cookies with ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon. Decorated, of course!


    Comment by marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — November 17, 2009 @ 2:37 PM

  13. I love all things cookie! Especially Christmas cookies. I definitely want to try making sugar cookie cutouts with my kids. The decorating part will be the best!


    Comment by Melissa — November 17, 2009 @ 2:55 PM

  14. I am dying to try the Cinnamon Snowballs that I found on They are made with cake flour, crushed corn flakes, nuts and lots of butter.

    Nice giveaway. Good luck to all.


    Comment by Carole Resnick — November 17, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

  15. I absolutely love making chocolate crinkles. There is something about a dense chocolate cookie covered in icing sugar that is so gratifying – it is as good as opening the presents on Christmas morning 🙂


    Comment by Dani — November 17, 2009 @ 5:10 PM

  16. Oops. I didn’t tell you my cookies. Does all count? I was thinking about a chocolate shortbread, topped with homemade marshmallow and drizzled with chocolate ganache. This is a holiday cookie because if I make it any other time I WILL EAT EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!
    Last year I make Danish Pastries, dough is a pain, but totally worth it; 3 kinds of spritz cookies; peppermint brownies and lemon bars and then a German Chocolate brownie thing. Oh yeah, and I tried to make rugelach but seriously, what a pain. I know, like spending 3 days on laminated dough isn’t; but, oh, the possibilities and all so delicious. So, this year chocolate marshmallow cookies and maybe pfefferneuse or Mexican wedding cookies or something else I can’t resist from Beatrice Ojakangas. I’m kinda squirelly that way.


    Comment by Laurel — November 17, 2009 @ 5:33 PM

  17. Benne wafers from the King Arthur Cookie Companion.


    Comment by Vanessa — November 17, 2009 @ 6:09 PM

  18. I’ve been really excited to try out my new pizelle maker! I’m thinking of all the things I can sandwich them together with….dulce de leche…..nutella…yumm! Plus my annual ribbon cookies….a buttery cookie dough layed with a cranberry/raspberry filling…sliced into little rectangles…they are adorable and delicious, they are a huge hit every year with my friends and family!


    Comment by Tonya — November 17, 2009 @ 6:20 PM

  19. I know it’s a pretty basic cookie, but I have never made thumbprint cookies with jam in them so I would like to make those this year. There are also a bunch of cookies on Better Homes & Garden that I want to try too!


    Comment by Stef — November 17, 2009 @ 6:21 PM

  20. Giada De Laurentiis’ Holiday Biscotti. They have everything I love including pistachios, dried cranberries, white chocolate, and lemon zest in a crisp cookie.


    Comment by Christine Anderson — November 17, 2009 @ 6:40 PM

  21. Oh my, Christmas is around the corner – time for baking cookies till I drop, planning three different menus and more parties than you should throw without someone to help you clean up afterwards (equals any party more than zero^^). I love it!

    My Christmas favourites are chocolaty Pfeffernüsse, buttercookies, chocolate-ginger crescents, homemade truffles and of course the Austrian all time favourite Vanillekipferl. Christmas just isn’t right without them. But i have to admit I love most every cooky that crosses my path around Christmas, so any will be fine.


    Comment by callas — November 17, 2009 @ 7:26 PM

  22. Gingerbread, of course! I’m currently looking for a better sugar cookie recipe. The one I tried last year was a bit to hard for my taste.

    Or anything that pairs well with chocolate.


    Comment by defy.the.wind — November 17, 2009 @ 8:42 PM

  23. I am anxious to try different types of shortbread. I have a bunch with different flavors, dips, etc., but have never made them because people are so particular about their shortbread. Including myself!!! I am definitely going to make up the German cookies. I LOVE anything Molasses!! Great Giveaway too!! Happy Thanksgiving


    Comment by Rebecca — November 17, 2009 @ 9:20 PM

  24. So many cookie recipes, so little time! I love this time of year and I can’t wait to start cooking Christmas goodies. This year I want to try making gingerbread men with a new recipe I found on allrecipes dot com.


    Comment by Teresa — November 17, 2009 @ 9:47 PM

  25. I am going to try biscotti this year – a couple of different varieties


    Comment by Lisa Berger — November 17, 2009 @ 9:49 PM

  26. My absolute most favorite only-make-them-at-Christmas cookies are my grandmother’s Coconut Date Balls *drool*

    I can’t wait to fly home the week before Christmas and bake all sorts of goodies with my family!!


    Comment by AbbyJ — November 17, 2009 @ 10:10 PM

  27. Yummmy!!! my favourite cookies are spicy molasses cookies. I plain on making a bunch of sugar cookies with my cousins and let them decorate 🙂


    Comment by Paige — November 17, 2009 @ 10:49 PM

  28. I may try linzer cookie, molasses cookie and Pfeffernüsse. It looks so delicious!


    Comment by Van — November 17, 2009 @ 11:02 PM

  29. sugar cookies with royal icing, I really want to be brave enough to try them!


    Comment by Jenn — November 18, 2009 @ 10:45 AM

  30. I love Stollen, so I will try it this year by myself


    Comment by Romana — November 18, 2009 @ 5:37 PM

  31. This isn’t really a cookie but it is a holiday goodie. A few years ago, I moved to Pennsylvania and one of the girls at work brought in a huge tray of chocolate dipped pretzels. She used regular chocolate and tinted white chocolate with a plethora of decorations from jimmies to nuts to chopped fruit. Finally this year I think I am going to have time and I’ve been buying a couple containers of sprinkles every week.


    Comment by Christmas Cookie Cutter — November 18, 2009 @ 9:16 PM

  32. Favorite Christmas cookie – gingerbread men. But, I continue to look for the prefect recipe. One that is not too hard, but firm enough to hold its shape. I love the ‘bite’ of gingerbread.
    Thanks for offering the book give away.


    Comment by Gale Reeves — November 18, 2009 @ 11:33 PM

  33. The type of cookie doesn’t really matter as long as I’m making them with my kids. The messier the better. If Rena walks in and gives me that “I’m not cleaning that up” look, then it’s been a successful day of cooking.


    Comment by Uncle Steve — November 19, 2009 @ 12:37 PM

  34. Pfeffernüsse inspired by Martha Stewart


    Comment by Chi — November 19, 2009 @ 2:40 PM

  35. Decorated cut outs. I’m not so good at cut outs but I will try again!


    Comment by Deanna — November 19, 2009 @ 3:27 PM

  36. How did you know I have wanted to try Linzer cookies? 🙂


    Comment by Leslie — November 19, 2009 @ 10:19 PM

  37. My favourit cookies in the world: chocolate chip cookies


    Comment by Keosun — November 20, 2009 @ 2:58 AM

  38. What happened to the contest?


    Comment by Deanna — November 24, 2009 @ 8:49 AM

  39. […] German Pfeffernusse […]

    Pingback by Christmas Candy & Cookie Plan « EASY AS PIE! — December 7, 2009 @ 11:05 AM

  40. […] Pffernusse Source: Martha Stewart, as seen on Sing for Your Supper […]

    Pingback by Pffernusse « Dinner & Dessert — December 29, 2009 @ 11:14 PM

  41. This looks delicious! Do you have a list of the different types of German cookies you get? I plan to go to the local German Christmas markets here in the UK, so hopefully will be able to try them!


    Comment by Gillian — November 11, 2010 @ 3:47 AM

  42. […] Speculaas Pfeffernüsse […]

    Pingback by Popular Christmas Cookies from Around the World - Dishin' With Rebelle — November 8, 2012 @ 10:09 AM

  43. I just purchased these at a local German bakery!


    Comment by Arthur in the Garden! — November 20, 2012 @ 7:39 AM

  44. Heyy Aria…… My high school friend’s mom used to make them and she passed away a few years ago. While talking with my friend last year,….telling him that I missed his mother’s Pizzelle’s, I was determined to learn how to make them. I went to a local Kitchen store near me, bought a machine (they’re like a waffle iron), tought myself the recipe and vouilla!! They are sooo good and so easy to make and the batter is so versatile to adapt something to. Now…..I’m not a chef or baker…I’m a plain guy,…..just taught myself how to make them, now everyone wants them! So don’t be intimidated by not learning how to make them! They’re easy, and you’ll love them, and so will everyone who tries them! Good luck and enjoy!! 🙂


    Comment by Karl — November 23, 2012 @ 10:48 PM

  45. Cookies with pistachios and fruit!


    Comment by Teri — November 12, 2013 @ 7:53 AM

  46. […] id="" class="" style=""]Speculaas[/wpcol_1third] [wpcol_1third id="" class="" style=""]Pfeffernüsse[/wpcol_1third] [wpcol_1third_end id="" class="" […]

    Pingback by Popular Christmas Cookies from Around the World - Dishin' With Rebelle — October 29, 2014 @ 10:25 AM

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