December 1: Pfeffernüsse

Standard

I make Pfeffernüsse first every year because it take a few weeks for these to mature. From my understanding, any cookie with a small amount of shortening is better when aged a bit. Pfeffernüsse only has about a cup total, which for this recipe is a small percentage of total ingredients.

I’m trying a new recipe this year. My old recipe involves actual anise seeds and a rolling pin, and although they’re supposed to be round disks, mine always end up looking like the state of Virginia. This new recipe uses anise extract and are drop cookies. Win.

One notable change was the use of cardamom. My local grocery store didn’t have it, so I went to Wally World. This stuff must be made from ground extinct baby tigers, because this one 1.75 oz jar cost $12.78! All for 1.5 teaspoons! I told the cashier that I hope to make my money back by charging people to eat these cookies. So now I have all of this cardamom, and God help me, I’m going to use it. Anyone have any good recipes that call for this?

Ground extinct baby tigers, I tell you.

When I combined the dry ingredients, it smelled a lot like chai. So, note that, to make your own chai, combine the spices of this recipe and drink.

Oh, and if you do a lot of holiday baking like I do, just do yourself a $2.35 favor and buy the new bottle of molasses. Otherwise, half your prep time is going to wasted doing this:

I got this one from allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup margarine
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose 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 extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (I used white pepper, as many people in the comments said it was better.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

(Note: it was very crumbly like this. I added 2 T water and 1/2 t melted crisco. Then, 1/2 t melted butter, combined with a T each of molasses and honey.)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Stir together the molasses, honey, shortening, 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, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combines. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (I added the extract to a cooled-off wet mixture instead.)
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Roll the dough into acorn-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.
4. Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes. Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar.

Stats: 65 cookies in this recipe; 65 cookies total this month

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