Pfefferneusse…which is German for “peppernut”…are a traditional spice cookie found at Christmas time. They can have an optional chocolate glaze or be sprinkled with powdered sugar. These cookies are loaded with spices, chopped nuts, citrus zest, and freshly ground pepper.
I am not exaggerating with the spices:
- dry mustard
I don’t think I have ever made cookies with dry mustard in them. The recipe tells us that it has the effect of making all the other spices sparkle. 🙂
I made half a batch of these cookies, which was plenty to share. I think I came out with 2o. They were easy to make and had me looking for new ingredients which is always fun…and what this is all about. I opted to make the cookies with both toppings to see which we would prefer. One was the simple dusting with powdered sugar and the other with the chocolate glaze. This however is no ordinary glaze. You start with bittersweet chocolate and then add to it the butter, but you continue adding…espresso ( I used instant coffee flakes) and then the option is to top the dipped cookies with freshly ground peppercorn. If you look closely at the picture you can actually see it. I can’t recall ever adding pepper to a glaze on a cookie.
I couldn’t wait to try them out and also see what everyone else thought. Everyone loved the spice cookie…preferred the dusting with powdered sugar BUT everyone had something to say about the chocolate one. It was SO interesting and different…very complex flavor with many levels to the experience. It was weird and good at the same time. You could really taste the chocolate and coffee flavors and then the pepper would hit you with a zing…literally! So strange, but at the same time intriguing. Most everyone thought they weren’t sure they liked it but ended up eating the whole cookie and changing their mind about it. THIS is what I love about this baking group…trying out new things!! It just never gets old! 🙂