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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.


about 8 dozen cookies

Total Time

1½ hours + chilling

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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.

Nutritional Facts

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