This week, I am going to keep things light and share some of our favorite Christmas recipes. I will be taking next week off to spend some quality time with my family. Some big plans are in store for next year and I cannot wait to fill all of you in soon. If you have not already subscribed to my site, I highly encourage you to do so. I am confident that 2017 is going to be my best year yet. I am hoping to make it yours as well!
It took me several years to perfect, but this recipe has won several baking contests. When we moved to Florida, I was so desperate for memories of home our first Christmas. I definitely love living in the Sunshine State, but I still do miss the snow on Christmas. If winter did not last for half the year in Minnesota, we may still be living there today.
One of the fondest memories I have of Christmas time is baking Christmas cookies. Due to my German heritage, we made a lot of cookies that originated from that area. However, my absolute favorite are pfeffernuse. The cookie has several spices that give it a bite and also contain black pepper. The cookies name is pepper nut in English translation.
When my kids were younger, I was so worried that they would think they were too spicy. Much to my satisfaction, the kids love them almost more than my husband and I do. We make them every year and they are always a hit.I am going to warn you that this recipe takes a lot of ingredients. Below is just a picture about some of the ingredients that I used. I did use all organic ingredients, but you can tweak according to your preference and budget. My recipe typically calls for anise extract, but I could not find an organic version locally and they were sold out on my favorite site, Vitacost. As a result, I improvised a bit and seeped star anise in the molasses mixture for about 10 minutes and it worked perfect.
If you have little ones helping you, I recommend making the dough on your own since it needs several hours to chill. My kids love to help roll the cookies into balls and then dip in the powdered sugar after they come out of the oven. The cookies are great fresh, but these are the kind that are even better the next day as the flavors marry together. I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as my family does!
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons anise extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a small saucepan, stir together the molasses, honey and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is creamy.
- Remove from heat to cool and then add eggs.
- In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients except for the powdered sugar.
- Mix until thoroughly combined. I find that the dough is pretty stiff and it is easier to mix with my hands.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll dough into tablespoon size balls.
- Arrange on cookie sheets lined with unbleached parchment paper, spacing at least an inch apart.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then dust with powdered sugar.
- Place on rack to thoroughly cool.