My Heirloom Christmas Cookie: Pfeffernuesse

Pfeffernuesse, (pronounced fe-fer-noose) is a delightfully cakey, spiced cookie.   This is one of the few recipes passed down from my Austrian Great-Grandmother.  The secret to these cookies is DON’T OVER COOK them.  If they are baked too long, they become a little too Bob Seger-ish.  Y’know… “like a rock!”  They are very easy to make and totally delicious.  Give it a try, just keep an eye on them in the oven.


  • 3/4 c. molasses
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of pepper

In a saucepan, combine molasses and butter.  Stir until butter melts.  Remove from heat and cool to room temp.

Once cooled, stir in eggs.

Sift dry ingredients together.

Add to molasses mixture. Mix until a stiff dough forms.  Chill for 30-60 minutes.

Shape into 1″ balls.  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. To see if they are done, check the bottom.  As soon as it starts to turn brownish, its done.  You want the cookies to be moist and soft on the inside.   Roll in confectioners sugar.

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