For me, Pfefferneusse are my favorite Christmas cookie. I have a significant amount of German ancestry, and my dad grew up in a German community in NYC. We had three German bakeries nearby that we frequented. I have actually written about Pfefferneusse before, with a recipe for, what I consider to be, the gold standard of Pfefferneusse. They are what I am most familiar with when one would mention the delectable holiday confection.
Needless to say, I have had a number of versions of the cookie… some more like gingerbread, some more like the cookies I have referred to above (made with molasses and anise seed), none as delicate as the version we made for Dorie’s cookies. I have never had a version that didn’t have anise seed in them, and the dough color was so blonde going into the oven, that I worried I had done something wrong. I found the flavor of these to be quite delicate… almost too much so. I used the powdered sugar because, again, that is what I am used to seeing on a Pfefferneusse, but considering how delicate the flavor of these cookies was, I wish I had used the chocolate instead, as I felt like the powdered sugar didn’t really do anything to enhance the flavor.
What did you think, dear reader?