These cookies have been on my mind for weeks. I was having a conversation with a friend about German cookies, and remembering those really spicy soft cookies that looked like they were covered in snow that someone used to give our family at Christmas time. I remembered eating them when I was little and loving and hating them at the same time. They were sweet and delicious and, well a cookie, so what’s not to like? But then they were so peppery I could barely finish eating just one.
Now that my tastes are slightly more developed as an adult, I think I can handle a peppery spicy cookie, maybe even enjoy it. I searched for recipes on the internet to try and replicate my fond childhood memories in cookie form. I even went into woolies to read the ingredients on the packet they were selling of Pfeffernüsse.
I don’t think that these have the exact texture of the ones I used to have, but they are very similar in taste and they seemed very familiar to the people that I gave some to try. As an added bonus, they’re gluten free and dairy free, so they are great for Christmas gifts for all sorts of family and friends. These sneaky little cookies get all their flavour and bite from molasses, Christmas spices and black pepper but not actually ginger. I hope you enjoy making them and that you can convince the people in your life to enjoy some spice in their cookies as well!
Recipe adapted from Saveur
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
2 tbsp coconut oil
280 grams flour (60% wholegrain gluten free flours including sorghum, quinoa and buckwheat 40% starch including arrowroot and white rice flour)
1 tbs ground flax, chia and psyllium husk
1/3 cup candied lemon peel (which you can easily make yourself)
1/3 cup (75 grams) almond meal
3/4 tsp each ground cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and cardamom
1/2 tsp baking powder
coconut oil for rolling
1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
Make your own by blending unrefined cane sugar until very fine and then adding 2 tbs white rice flour.
Melt the honey, molasses and oil over medium heat, let cool then whisk in the eggs.
mix the rest of the ingredients together, then add the honey egg mixture and mix.
cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Use the coconut oil to grease your hands and then roll the dough into small balls, roughly 4 cm diameter and place onto lined baking trays with space in-between, Bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes and until the edges are firm and golden.
Leave to cool for 1 minute, then while still warm dip each cookie into the bowl of powdered sugar, then repeat again for a thicker coating.