Named for black pepper, which gives Pfeffernusse [FEHF-fuhr-noos] a little bite, these petite spiced cookies make one heck of a yuletide treat. One of the best things about these classic German cookies is they get better with age, making them the perfect make-ahead Christmas cookie. Their flavor intensifies and they stay moist and chewy, so they're ideal for shipping.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and cloves.
Cream butter and brown sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, 5 minutes.
Beat molasses, egg, vanilla, and zest into butter mixture.
Add flour mixture and beat just to combine. Cover and chill dough at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop dough using a 1 tsp. measure and arrange on prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies until firm around the edges, about 12 minutes; let cool on baking sheets until firm enough to transfer to a rack. Let cookies cool completely.
Toss cookies with powdered sugar.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 1%
Sodium 25mg 1%
Carbs 5g 1%
Fiber 0g 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.