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One of the cookie recipes I made for the Austin Bakes for Bastrop bake sale was Finnish Peppernuts, but despite the name they did not contain nuts.  The original recipe from Beatrice Ojakangas’ Great Holiday Baking Book (Random House 1994) calls for ground hazelnuts, for which the cookies are shaped after.  Many people might know them as Pfefernüsse the German name for this round, holiday spiced cookie.

peppernuts

peppernuts hot out of the oven

I modified the recipe to make half a batch first, just in case there might be other tweaks to make.

Adapted from Peppernuts by Beatrice Ojakangas

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Turn on the oven to 375ºF.  Cream the butter, sugar and egg until smooth.  Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a separate bowl.  Mix the flour into the butter and sugar.  Form 1/2 inch balls and place 1/2 inch apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes, just until the bottom is lightly browned.

Pfefernusse Cookies (photo: Martha Compton)

Pfefernusse Cookies (photo: Martha Compton)

These would be cute in gift bags tied with a decorative ribbon or natural twine.  I put eight into individual bags for the bake sale.

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