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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Holiday cookies: Day 2 _ pink and peppery cookies

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For Day 2 of AP’s 12 Days of Holiday Cookies series, we decided to take a classic _ yet simple _ German pepper cookie and make it a bit more festive and a bit more peppery.

Pfeffernusse are small, firm peppery balls often served with tea or cocoa. Traditional recipes call for black pepper _ the name, after all, means “pepper nuts” _ and a host of other spices. We kept those, but added pink peppercorns, too. While pink peppercorns have only a mild flavor, they add a beautiful red fleck to the cookie.

After they cool, these cookies often are rolled in powdered sugar, giving them a snowball appearance. We skipped this, but it’s easy to do (and would make a good job for the kids).

Pfeffernusse improve with age, so make plenty at the start of the season and keep them around for gifting and snacking.

LESSON: When shaping a large amount of cookies, a cookie scoop (such as a small ice cream scoop) makes the work fast and simple work. It also ensures the cookies are all the same size.


Start to finish: 30 minutes

Makes 72 cookies

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 eggs

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup honey

Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, cloves, allspice, baking soda and the pink and black pepper.

In a second medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until thickened, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture, mixing well, then add the second half and mix again. Add the butter and honey, then mix until thoroughly combined.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch around each ball. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm. Store in an airtight container.

Nutrition information per cookie (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 43 calories; 4 calories from fat (10 percent of total calories); 1 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 7 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 3 mg sodium.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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