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5 from 5 votes

Pfeffernusse Cookies

These Pfeffernusse Cookies are a classic. Very unique but delicious! 
Prep Time2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: german cookies, holiday cookies, pfeffernusse cookies
Servings: 4 dozen
Author: The Southern Lady Cooks


  • 1/2 cup molasses I used sorghum molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice ground
  • 1 cup confectionery sugar more if needed


  • Combine butter, honey and molasses in a pot and melt over low heat on the stove. Do not boil! Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Beat eggs and anise extract together and stir into honey mixture. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugars, spices and salt and mix together well with a spoon. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir till makes a stiff dough. Chill about 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Remove from refrigerator and roll into small balls with your hands or you can cut some of the dough with cookie cutters. (I did some both ways. I made some bite sized ones for my grandson and several different sizes) The dough is easy to work once it comes out of the fridge. Place on sprayed or greased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven 15 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and let cool. Roll in confectionery sugar. Store in airtight container and allow to sit for a couple days before serving. Makes about 4 dozen cookies depending on size you make them.