I recently went to a cookie exchange, and the theme was “Cookies From Around the World.” Just days after I got the invitation, I saw these cookies on Amy’s blog and thought they would be perfect. Pffernusse are German spice cookies, very similar to ginger cookies. David and I both have a connection to Germany- he has a lot of German heritage, and I have a little, but I was born in Germany and have always been interested in German culture. We both even took German in high school and I was lucky enough to spend a month there after my junior year. This cookie is a basic spice dough, and after letting the cookies cool for about 10 minutes, you roll them in powdered sugar. I tend to make a lot of spice cookies, because it’s David’s favorite kind. He really liked these and enjoyed eating the leftovers. He described them as a spice cake in cookie form. The smell from baking them just filled up the house. This is a great Christmas cookie!
Source: Martha Stewart, as seen on Sing for Your Supper
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place confectioners’ sugar in a brown paper bag (I used a bowl).
In a medium bowl, combine flour, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. Set aside.
Place butter, brown sugar, and molasses in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Pinch off dough in tablespoon amounts; roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Arrange balls 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (Dough can be frozen at this point, covered tightly with plastic wrap, up to 1 month).
Bake until cookies are golden and firm to the touch with slight cracking, about 15 minutes. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Working in batches, place cookies in paper bag; shake until well coated. Let cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container.
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