Sunday, December 04, 2011

Pfeffernüsse Holiday Treats

December 5 / Celebration Food:  
Pfeffernüsse are small, firm, round biscuits, sometimes with ground nuts. The name translates to pepper nuts in German, Danish and Dutch, describing their spicy taste as well as the fact that many recipes actually call for almonds or walnuts. Bahlsen's pfeffernüsse has no added nuts. Despite the name they do not necessarily contain black pepper.

Pfeffernüsse cocoa
By Lucky's andere mutti /creativecommons/licenses
Pepernoten are originally a Dutch treat..., baked during 'Sinterklaas', a feast on 5 December (6 December in Belgium and Germany) on which little children receive gifts from the holy St. Nicholas, the partial inspiration for Santa Claus. In Germany, Pfeffernüsse are traditionally made during the Christmas season.

Recipes often call for... the dough to be rounded into a ball. Today they are sometimes produced with a chocolate base.

Like most baked goods..., there are many variations of pfeffernüsse. While most recipes call for cloves and cinnamon, some also use nutmeg or anise. A Danish recipe for pebernødder requires white pepper, while most recipes don't use pepper at all. Some versions of pfeffernüsse contain pecans, ginger or cardamom.

Pfeffernüsse are extremely hard when they are first baked. For at least a week, it is difficult to bite into them without first dunking into a beverage. However, they soften with age.

In Germany they are also known as "Pimpernüsse" in some places, and are traditionally given out at Martinisingen.

They are very popular at church concert receptions, especially around Christmas time.
Pfeffernüsses are often confused with Russian tea cakes because they are a similar shape and are both generally covered in powdered sugar, but Pfeffernüsses are much more bitter due to their less refined ingredients. *Recipes Follow-


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Recipe Without Black Pepper
             Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Stir together the molasses, honey, shortening, and margarine in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the eggs.
  2. Combine the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, anise, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combines. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Roll the dough into acorn-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes. Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners' sugar.    
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Recipe With Pepper

             Ingredients

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Lemon Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Anise Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Place brown sugar and butter in large mixer bowl. Cream with electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Add remaining ingredients, except confectioners sugar, to sifted flour and sift again. Gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into ovals and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from cookie sheets and place on wire racks. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar while cookies are still warm. When cookies are cool, store in airtight containers.     
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Resources:  wikipedia / allrecipes.com /    
Blogged Here: southern lady cooks /
Recipes: cooks.com / about.com / groundrecipes /         

2 comments:

Mother of 5 said...

Thats a lot of ingredients. I would like to know how they taste. Bookmarked recipe.

Jen with Cookies Made Easy said...

Same here. Never ate this one before.

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