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Pfeffernuesse Cookies

Pfeffernuesse Cookies
Pfeffernuesse means pepper nuts. My husband and I became responsible for making these cookies for the family when we offered a batch made with fresh spices from The Spice House. My great-grandmother's recipe originally called for 10 cents worth of cassia, cardamom, anise seed and orange peel. Family tradition equates that to 2 tablespoons. Tradition also calls for these to be kept in a cloth sack and hidden while they age. My great uncle went looking for them one year and set the closet on fire with his candle.

Submitted by: Stephanie from Corunna, Indiana
Yield: 1 Pillow Case Full


Featured in this Recipe


Preparation Instructions:

Cream lard and sugars. Mix in spices and nuts. Combine flour with salt and add, alternating with coffee and soda water.

Dough will be stiff, almost clay like. Roll into small balls the size of nuts. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar when cool. Let age.

More About This Recipe

Using half coffee and half sweet white wine really adds to the flavor. The flavor gets better with age. Tradition has us making these the day after Thanksgiving so they are ready for Christmas. We store them in a pillow case and hide them, so they will last until the Christmas Season. This recipe originally called for cassia buds, but due to sourcing difficulties we suggest substituting our Vietnamese cassia cinnamon instead.


Based on 6 reviews

Customer Reviews

Stephanie Taylor

My handful holds a teaspoon of salt. Hands are the perfect mixing tool for the amount and consistency of this dough, so my Gram would pour the salt into her hand and mix it in with the flour. Eileen, I tried it with the cassia bud and it was amazing! Thanks!!!

holly s

My family’s recipe is rather different. Our recipe has only coffee, liquid anise, and I use pumpkin pie spice: we use honey and no lard; and a glaze frosting. It takes 3 days to make them as we leave the cookies out overnight to dry, then frost and leave them out overnight again to dry. My Oma makes them small round 1inch balls with frosting coating, mine are larger, baked less and chewy, just the way I love them..


My mother’s recipe is a lot like this one except we had no nuts or coffee/wine. She rolled these very thin and used Christmas cutters. Thery were very dark and the one I am using for an Oktoberfest are not. Is it because of the coffee. A smaller recipe has only a 1/2lb of butter with equal amounts of lard, and 1 pint of white corn syrup. Would the dark be the difference in the color. Now that I found cassia I definitely will try to make them. Thry sound amazing!

Evan T

Looks like an amazing recipe, however are the cassia buds ground or left whole?

Judith H

Love it. I purchased all the spices I needed from this site.
The cookies are in closet in pillow case and the aroma is fantastic. Of course, I did sneak a few out the other day to try, yummy!!
Judith Ann

Eileen F

I’m surprized that no one has reviewed this cookie. I made this cookie a few years ago and look forward to making them every Christmass. I would recommend this spicy treat to everyone. Please give the cassia bud a try, it adds that little something that the cinnamon alone can’t produce. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm delish. Eileen Frye

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