So I love LOVE Pfeffernusse. I don't know why, it was never something we had when I was a child so there's no "sentimental" attachment to it. I just love it. Deliciously spicy and wrapped in sugar. If you've never had a Pfeffernusse I highly recommend you go try it. It tastes like Christmas....goes well with Hot Toddies. Mmmmmm Christmas in my mouth.... drool.
Ok, so, all the Pfeffernusse love aside, I've never made these before. I dug up a recipe from allrecipes.com and modified it to my liking. I recommend you do that, adjusting the spices up or down depending on your preferences, just don't leave the pepper out! The spiciness and the soft texture is what really distinguishes a Pfeffernusse from a Gingerbread. **See Note At Bottom**
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
4 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp each of nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups icing sugar
Despite all my anti-eggness, I DID use real eggs in this recipe so I'm not sure how it would respond to fake eggs, but my research tells me it would be fine.
1. Preheat oven to 325. In a small pan, heat molasses, butter, and honey until smooth. Cool to room temp. Add both eggs.
2. In a large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients.
3. Mix molasses mixture with dry ingredients until combined (will form a crumbly mixture, see pictures)
4. Chill for 1 hour.
5. Press and roll into 1" balls (this is tricky because the dough feels dry, just keep working it with your hands and it will soften into a ball). Space 1" apart on a dry nonstick cookie sheet.
6. Bake 10-15 mins until balls flatten slightly and some crack a little at edges.
7. Remove from pan to dish and dust with icing sugar while still warm! Once cool, place in ziplock bag with remaining icing sugar and re-dust. This should form a good thick coating of sugar.
8. Make yourself a batch of Hot Toddies to go with them, and go relax by the fire. Merry Christmas.
**DISCLAIMER: As I said, I never had Pfeffernusse as a child, I'm only baking Pfeffernusse according to my own tastes. This is not, BY FAR, a traditional Pfeffernusse recipe as they don't often call for black pepper and instead of starting out hard as rocks and softening with age, my recipe is for a soft cookie.