Pfeffernusse (German pepper nut cookies) are a popular holiday treat worldwide.
Delightfully spiced cookies with sweet sugar glaze. Known as "pepper nut" in its native German, pfeffernusse are sold worldwide, particularly during the holidays.
That peppery flavour comes from a mix of seasonal spices, which fill the house with the aroma of the holidays as they bake.
This version of pfeffernusse are gluten-free, but if they don't need to be, simply replace the cassava flour and tapioca flour with an equal amount of all-purpose flour, reduce the baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon, and omit the baking powder.
These make great gifts for the holidays and will last a couple of weeks on the counter in an air-tight container. The prepared dough will freeze well, keeping for about a month if tightly wrapped.
(Makes 60 servings)
1, 3/4 cups cassava flour (or 2, 1/4 cups all-purpose flour omit the tapioca flour)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unsalted plant-based butter, room temperature
3/4 cup golden brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
coarsely ground red candy cane (optional)
Preheat over to 350°F / 180°C and prepare at least three sheet pans lined with parchment paper, or silicone liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the cassava flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground ginger, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and ground black pepper. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter, golden brown sugar, and molasses. Beat on medium speed until the mixture becomes fluffy (3 to 4 minutes). Add the egg and pure vanilla extract and continue beating until incorporated. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and begin adding the flour mixture until it's just incorporated.
Using a small cookie scoop (or teaspoon), scoop out the dough into balls and place them on the sheet pans about 1, 1/2-inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes, turning the front of the sheet pan to the back of the oven after 7 minutes. Cookies are done when they are firm and golden and beginning to crack. Place the entire sheet pan on the cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place the cooling rack over a sheet of parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Dip the tops of each of the cooled cookies into the glaze, shake to remove any excess, and place glaze-side up on the cooling rack to harden. (Optional: While the glaze on the cookies is still wet, add crumbles of red candy cane to the top as decoration.)
Once the glaze has hardened, share and enjoy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 61 | total fat = 0.94g | saturated fat = 0.32g | cholesterol = 3.25mg | sodium = 21.29mg | net carbohydrates = 12.74g | dietary fibre = 0.41g | sugars = 8g | protein = 0.33g