European Spice Cookie Recipe (Pfeffernusse) Smells & Tastes Like the Holidays by 30Seconds Food

Cookies Desserts Holidays
9 months ago

European Spice Cookie Recipe (Pfeffernusse) Smells & Tastes Like the Holidays

Pfeffernusse are spice cookies popular in Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark. These delicious Christmas cookies are popular holiday desserts, filled with various ground spices and sweeteners. A few spices that are found often in Pfeffernusse dessert recipes are molasses, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, anise and black pepper. 

Anise is the dominant spice in this fragrant Pfeffernusse cookie recipe, and some choose to omit the black pepper. These aromatic cookies smell similar to gingerbread cookies and, like many cookie recipes of this type, they have endless variations. 

Here's an easy Pfeffernusse recipe to try this Christmas. Instead of rolling the cookies in powdered sugar, you could frost them with vanilla cake icing.

Cuisine: European
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 to 12 minutes

Total Time: 24 to 27 minutes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or white pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • powdered sugar

Here's how to make it:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, salt, allspice and cloves in a bowl. 
  2. Make a well in the center and add the melted and cooled butter, molasses, egg and anise extract. Beat on low speed until combined.
  3. Roll the dough into balls and arrange on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated 325-degree F oven for 9-12 minutes, or until edges are set. Remove and cool a few minutes before rolling in the powdered sugar. 

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Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Cookie Sheets $8 & Up
Parchment Paper $4 & Up
Baking Soda $1 & Up
Ground Cinnamon $2 & Up
Black Pepper $2 & Up
White Pepper $4 & Up
Ground Nutmeg $3 & Up
Ground Ginger $3 & Up
Salt $2 & Up
Allspice $3 & Up
Ground Cloves $3 & Up
Molasses $3 & Up
Anise Extract $5 & Up
Powdered Sugar $3 & Up

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I love the old-fashioned goodness of this cookie! 😋
Elisa Schmitz
My old world grandma used to make these and we'd eat them every Christmas. Remember these, Kathy Ast-Kutzbach ? I can't wait to try making them myself! #yum
Kathy Ast
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds yes I remember. I can smell them yummy!!
Elisa Schmitz
They have a very distinct aroma and flavor. I think it's the anise. I just loved their shapes and the fact that Grandma made them. That's why they are close to my heart, Kathy Ast-Kutzbach ! Donna John , did you grandma make these, too?

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