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Pfeffernüsse—The Best Gluten-free German Christmas Cookies!

Pfeffernüsse—The Best Gluten-free German Christmas Cookies!

Updated November 21, 2017.

Pfeffernüsse are the best gluten-free German Christmas cookies!  

There’s something about the spicy aroma mixed with the scent of winter greens, Christmas hymns and the warm, pepper bite wrapped in sweet snowy goodness.

Mm-mm!

It is like a taste of the mother land and old world German traditions.

On Sundays throughout the month of December, I remember back to when my little brothers and sister would light the Advent wreath, which was decked out in fresh greenery and decorated with holly berries.

We would open a shutter on the Advent Calendar, counting the days until the coming of der Weihnachtsmann (pronounced vie-nakt-smen; meaning “Christmas Man”, a.k.a. Santa Claus).

On Heiliger Abend (pronounced hie-ligger ah-bend, meaning "Christmas Eve"), the extended family gathered at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

After a festive dinner we would decorate the tall tree, which was often 10 feet high!

Then, we would gather around the old player piano while Grandma struck a lively tune.

We would start by singing O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) and finished with Stille Nacht (Silent Night).

Moved by the spirit of the season, the children, with eyes aglow, would each receive one small gift, a German tradition passed down through the generations; one we still practice with our family, though I married into an ancient Irish clan.

Before families retired to their homes for the magical night, we snacked on flavorful holiday treats, including Pfeffernüsse and a glass of cold milk.

At home, we would share the rich goodness by setting out a small plate of cookies and glass of milk for Santa Claus, too.

Pfeffernüsse are delicious little German spice cookies covered with powdered sugar and are not be confused with similar powdered sugar dusted spice biscuits, such as English Peppernuts or Russian Teacakes.

Make up a batch of Pfeffernüsse ahead of time and then let them “ripen”.

They keep well and just get better with age!

Best of all they can be made dairy-free; substitute an equal measure of vegetable shortening for the butter.

To make an egg-free version, simply substitute your favorite egg replacer the eggs indicated in this recipe; no sacrifice will occur in product quality.

Build a Christmas memory!

Pfeffernüsse is a wonderful taste of Christmas you will never forget!





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Pfeffernüsse—The Best Gluten-free German Christmas Cookies!


By

Pfeffernüsse—The Best Gluten-free German Christmas Cookies!


These snowy puffs are unforgettable spicy Christmas cookies, a perfect holiday memory maker!

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yield: about 48 cookies

Ingredients:
- 4 cups Whole Grain Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup butter (or shortening)
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 2 large eggs (or equivalent egg replacer)
- powdered sugar, corn-free

Instructions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper.
2. In a small saucepan add molasses and butter.
3. Heat over medium low until butter melts; stir mixture until combined.
4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
5. In an electric stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy.
6. Drizzle the cooled molasses and butter mixture into the eggs, beating until well blended.
7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until mixed well.
8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
9. Preheat oven to 350°F.
10. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and then set aside.
11. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls.
12. Place the cookie balls about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
13. Bake for 12 minutes.
14. Let cookies set for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
15. Roll each Pfeffernüsse cookie in powdered sugar until thickly coated.
16. Store in an air tight container.

Tags:
Gluten-free, Corn-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Vegan, Vegetarian




Variation

Metric Measurements

Note:  use volume-based imperial/metric measuring spoons and dry measuring cups marked in milliliters; see Kitchen Equipment and Tools.

Ingredients

  • 1000 ml Whole Grain Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 125 ml granulated white sugar
  • 7.5 ml ground cinnamon
  • 6.25 ml teaspoons baking soda
  • 2.5 ml ground cloves
  • 2.5 ml ground nutmeg
  • .5 ml black pepper
  • 125 ml butter (or shortening)
  • 180 ml molasses 
  • 2 large eggs (or equivalent egg replacer)
  • powdered sugar, corn-free

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper.
  2. In a small saucepan add molasses and butter.
  3. Heat over medium low until butter melts; stir mixture until combined.
  4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  5. In an electric stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy.
  6. Drizzle the cooled molasses and butter mixture into the eggs, beating until well blended.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until mixed well.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  9. Preheat oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4.
  10. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and then set aside.
  11. Roll cookie dough into 2.54 cm balls.
  12. Place the cookie balls about 5 cm apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  13. Bake for 12 minutes.
  14. Let cookies set for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  15. Roll each Pfeffernüsse cookie in powdered sugar until thickly coated.
  16. Store in an air tight container.



More Christmas Cookies You Might Enjoy

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Crinkles

Gingerbread Cookies

Holiday Celebration Cookies

Holiday Chip Cookies

Peppermint Candy Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies


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