What are you baking this holiday season?
I love these festive cookies for their addictive spiciness, petite size, and pillowy texture. Pfefferneuse (‘peppernut’) cookies are traditional German, Dutch and Danish spiced Christmas cookies that I remember eating as a child. They have a licorice-like anise flavor that may be a bit polarizing, but that I find festive and perfect during this season. I recreated the traditional cookie in gluten free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free form— and the result is perfect! Bake them in your own home as you embrace the darkness of the winter season and the soon-to-be return of the light.
Holiday Pfeffernusse Cookies
These cookies can be easily frozen and ahead of when you want to serve them.
1 tbsp ground chia seed (+ 3 tbsp water)
2 1/4 cups gluten free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill GF 1-to-1 flour blend)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt
1/2 cup unsalted organic grassfed butter
2 tsp anise extract
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup molasses (use blackstrap molasses for a less sweet, more deeply flavored cookie)
1/8 cup coconut sugar, blended into powder (can sub conventional powdered sugar if desired)
In a small dish, whisk together chia seed and water and set aside to gel.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a large bowl, beat butter, anise extract, coconut sugar and molasses. Stir in the chia mixture, and then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll 1” balls of dough, flattened slightly on the bottom, and place onto greased baking sheets. Bake until the cookies start to brown on the bottom, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack and cool slightly.
Pour powdered coconut sugar into a plastic bag and drop cookies into bag, one by one, to coat them with sugar.