Peppernuts (Pfeffernüsse)

Peppernuts are another of our family traditions. It began with Gramma Iler in the 1800’s, handed down to her daughter Kathryn (Iler) Thompson and on down to our Thompson Family. Kathryn Thompson always made a very large batch of peppernuts for her youngest son Jeffrey as he was born on Christmas Eve .Jeff can’t remember a Christmas without a special tin from England filled with the special little cookies. Before (Kathryn) mom passed on she handed down to Jeff her special tin she stored her peppernuts in. Now as tradition would have, we store our peppernuts in our special tin from England and share the little cookies with all of our family.

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Original Family Tin

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 6 cups flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Madagascar Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Grenada Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup white corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. ground Anise seed

Directions

Sift flour, dry spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add rest of ingredients to creamed mixture in the following order, mixing to combine after each addition: corn syrup and honey; egg; lemon juice and milk; and anise oil. Stir in dry ingredients to the wet mixture, about a cup at a time. The dough will be stiff. Split into four portions, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Roll each quarter with hands into long ropes about the diameter of your finger. Splitting each quarter in half or thirds may make the dough easier to work with. Cut ½-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet with some space between each peppernut. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Cookies will crisp up as they sit. Store in an airtight container.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea to experience the full deliciousness of these wonderful little cookies.

Yields

100+ little cookies

Notes and Thanks

This recipe was adapted from Suzanne at Window on the Prairie. This recipe makes a lot of peppernuts, but you can freeze the little cookies to bring out when you have guests!

Thanks to Julie Harvick for the fine china

Savory Spice for the finest spices

Bob’s Red Mill for the best products

 

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HISTORY

Pfeffernüsse are tiny spice cookies, popular as a holiday treat in Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands, as well as among ethnic Mennonites in North America. They are called pepernoten in Dutch (plural), päpanät in Plautdietsch, pfeffernuesse or peppernuts in English, and pebernødder in Danish.

The name peppernut (Pfeffernüsse, peppernoder etc.) does not mean it contains nuts, though occasional varieties do. The cookies are roughly the size of nuts and can be eaten by the handful, which may account for the name.

I love these old recipes and it turns out perfect everytime

GRAMMA THOMPSON’S ORIGINAL RECIPE

IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN place next 9 ingredients to heat and melt

1/4 Cup Crisco

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Dark Karo Syrup

1/2 Cup Sour Milk

1/2 teaspoon soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom

1/2 tsp. powdered anise

COOL

Add 4 cups more or less  flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder   – mix well will be thick.

Roll into long fingers, sliced into 1 inch pieces, place on a baking sheet and bake 11 minutes at 350 to 375 degrees

FROM OUR TRADITION TO YOURS – ENJOY FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥

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