Tuesdays With Dorie -Pfefferneusse

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? 

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15 Responses to Tuesdays With Dorie -Pfefferneusse

  1. cheramisclub says:

    I loved these! But now that you mention it, the anise was missing! I did mine just like you did. Next time i make these i will try with the chocolate.

  2. How funny that we baked with sheet pans and silicone mat, then dusted the cookies and took similar pictures! Great minds think alike? Love your story on German neighborhood bakeries.

  3. it’s the first time I’m making and eating these cookies! I’ve made both chocolate glaze and with the dusting of sugar, and prefer the ones with the confectioners’ sugar! I thought that the sugar goes really well with the spiced cookies.

  4. lovielou says:

    This was my first pfefferneusse. My husband lived in Germany as a child and recalls they were spicier than Dorie’s version, but he liked these as well. Love photo with the missing cookie!

  5. Hindy says:

    Looking forward to trying these and also your earlier recipe. I like a flavorful cookie and those sound perfect!

  6. awarmhello says:

    Those look so delicious with all the powdered sugar! I just want to grab one!

  7. Summer says:

    Your Pfeffernusse look delicious. I’d never heard of them before but I’m enjoying reading about other people’s past experiences with them.

  8. Kayte says:

    I was thinking the same thing when I was making them, that they were going to be a lighter version of the ones I grew up with but I didn’t mind a bit, I truly loved these. All this means is that we now have yet another recipe for this wonderful cookie…yahoo!! 🙂 I love your photo with the the missing cookie with the confectioner’s sugar outline…so clever of you as it is like moving something outside after a snowfall and the outline remains. How fun…you are so clever. I seriously have GOT to get more clever. 🙂

  9. Diane Zwang says:

    My mother-in-law is German so I will need to ask her about these cookies. My husband and I have not had them before. I liked the chocolate. My husband seems to be complaining about the pepper in them but not enough to stop eating them.

  10. Sorry you didn’t love these…I loved your picture…very creative!

  11. Cakelaw says:

    I have German ancestry too, so I look forward to making these. The pfefferneuse that I am used to have white icing on them, like the ones from Aldi. Yours look pretty, but if you already have a fave recipe, I can understand your disappointment.

    • Nicole @ The 2nd 35 Years says:

      So i just got my dna test back, and it turns out that my germans were really just immigrants to Germany from Italy! Whoops!

  12. Teresa says:

    Lovely photo! I enjoyed this cookie, but your family’s favourite version sounds delicious, too.

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