Pepper and Spice Biscuits

    2 hours 30 minutes

    Also known as pfeffernusse, these biscuits are a magical combination of spices and a dash of pepper. Very subtle and sophisticated.

    120 people made this

    Makes: 36 biscuits

    • 1/2 cup molasses
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 125g margarine
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 cups plain flour
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 teaspoons anise essence
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup icing sugar, for dusting

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Extra time:2hours chilling  ›  Ready in:2hours30min 

    1. Stir together the molasses, honey and margarine in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the eggs.
    2. Combine the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, anise, cinnamon, bicarb soda, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
    3. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Roll the dough into acorn-sized balls. Arrange on baking trays, spacing at least 3cm apart.
    4. Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes. Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled biscuits with icing sugar.

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    Reviews in English (154)


    My only suggestions to make this recipe closer to Pfeffernusse made in Germany, are: Use more pepper, and use white instead of black. One and a half to twice the amount of pepper will give the "nuts" a real peppery zing. Also, don't spare the XXXX sugar coating.  -  11 Jan 2008  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    My problem is not the flavor of this recipe, which was very good, but the way it was put together. I would definitely change the order of mixing a bit. The recipe has you add the anise extract to the dry ingredients before the wet are added. This causes little unmixed bits of flower in the dough. Doesn't affect taste much, but I'm a perfectionist and care about the aesthetics of it. I would follow the recipe as it says except leave the sugars and the extract out of the dry ingredients. Instead mix those into the wet after the egg is added, then add the dry to the wet, in installments, and resume the recipe. 4 stars because the flavor is good, and the recipe can be fixed with only a few tweaks. Enjoy.  -  22 Oct 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Love these cookies! My mom had the store bought version so my family compared the two cookies. This recipie won by far. They have a wonderful spice that gets even better after a few days. The center stays soft and moist (even after freezing!) This recipe makes a large batch of cookies. Only change i made was that i rolled the cookie dough balls in powdered sugar before placing on baking sheet. Then before serving i dusted them with a little more powdered sugar. I will be making these every christmas!  -  03 Jan 2008  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)