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with Step by Step Pictures

This is a spicy version of the cookie
I like lots of spice and the tart lemon glaze on top.
If you like a milder cookie you could half the
cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and pep

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1/2 lb. butter
1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Molasses (optional)
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract (optional)
2 3/4 Cup flour
1 Cup walnuts or almonds (ground in nut grinder or food processor)
1/2 Cup candied orange peel or mixed candied fruit
1 lemon rind, grated, plus the juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper (optional)
1 tsp. Cardamom


1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 /2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

First I make my own candied orange peel. You can buy it in the grocer
but I think this is much better. Here is how I make the
Candied Orange Peel

Zest the lemon and chop fine. You can either use a zester like I do , or you can grate it, or peel and chop it with a knife.

I measure out my spices. You can also use ginger, mace and nutmeg in small quantities like 1/2 teaspoon for more layers of spice flavor.

Grind the walnuts either in a nut grinder or a food processor. Be sure and grind just a few seconds at a time so you don't over grind the walnuts.

Cream the sugar, butter, vanilla and molasses

Add the Flour, nuts, spices , orange and lemon, till you get a good firm dough. If it seems to sticky add a bit more flour. I often test a cookie to see if it holds up well.
chill this dough overnight if you have time. Otherwise chill it at least for an hour.

Pre heat the oven to 300-325 degrees depending on how hot your oven bakes. Make balls of dough about 3/4 inch thick and then roll them into nice balls with your hand. I put these on a silicon mat, but a greased baking sheet works well also.

Here they are ready to bake. Put in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.

As you can se they just barely brown on top when
they are done. The bottom of the cookie is a little darker. Let them sit a minute or two
before you test them, they crumble easy right out of the oven. If they don't hold together then put them back in the oven for 5 minutes or so,

To make the icing measure out 2 cups of powdered sugar and place in mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice. Also a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
Whip till smooth. It may not look like you have enough liquid but it just takes a little time to absorb it. If you are not a fan of lemon use milk or water in place of the lemon juice.

Dip the top of the cookie only, in the icing like so and place it on the baking sheet. Do this while the cookie is still warm. If they have cooled to much warm a bit in the oven for 1 minute. I like the cookies to be a little warm when icing, If I need to I put them in the oven for 1 minute.

Continue with all of the cookies and let the icing set.

An alternative is to just roll the pfeffernüsse in powdered sugar.
They should be just slightly warm when you do this but not so warm that they crumble and fall apart.

Here is a nice platter of the cookies,
Store in a cookie tin or a tight plastic storage container. They get better with age up to two months.



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Last updated December 9, 2008