Heritage Recipes

Sharing old family recipes and traditions

From Richard 

I believe this recipe for a Christmas cookie originated in Germany.  I have also heard it called pebbernodder and pfefferniscence.  Peppernuts have been a holiday tradition in my family for my entire life.  Back when you could still  do such things, a container of peppernuts made the perfect Christmas present for teachers.  I also used to take a container  along as a snack for everyone on debate trips.  (We told the new kids it was "dog food".)

This makes a great winter afternoon project for mom (or dad) and the kids.   After all the mixing is done, we all get  together and roll them out on the kitchen table.  One warning:  These things are addictive.  Betcha can't eat just one!


1 cup Shortening

1 cup Milk

4 cups Sugar


 Boil to consistency of frosting, then stir in 1+ cups of flour.  Let cool, then mix in:


3 Eggs

cup Buttermilk

1 t Soda in a little water

1 t Cinnamon

t Ground clove

t Allspice

t Cardamon powder

t Nutmeg

t Pepper

t Oil of Anise

t Salt

1 pkg each Orange Peel, lemon peel, Citron and nuts

8 - 10 cups Flour

Knead the dough until very stiff.  Add flour until mixture is no longer sticky.  Roll into long small rolls (slightly smaller in diameter than a dime) and then cut into small pieces.  Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 until brown.

Words of Advice:

1.  Peppernuts can be prepared well ahead of time and stored in the fridge.  Wrap the unbaked mixture in plastic wrap  and store in the veggie drawer.  Stays good for months.

2.  Instead of rolling the dough into rolls, my mother now uses a rolling pin to roll the dough out, then uses a pizza cutter  to make the little pieces.  Much faster, but not as much fun!


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