RECIPE: German Pfeffernuesse Cookies

Pfeffernuesse – a German cookie made with ginger, molasses and pepper. Electronic image by Ron Flaviano for Homeplate and Metro Monthly.



½ cup molasses

½ cup honey

1 stick butter

2 eggs

4 cups all purpose flour

¾ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 ½  teaspoons ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioner’s sugar for dusting


Stir together the molasses, honey and butter; stir until creamy; stir in the eggs. Combine flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, gloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Roll dough into acorn-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners sugar.

ABOUT HELGA WENGLER – “Homeplate Homestyle” host Helga Wengler is a native of Frankfurt, Germany. She learned to cook from her mother and loves to share her knowledge and ability with TV viewers each week on “Homeplate Homestyle.”  She and her husband, Wolfgang, are very active in the local community. Helga and Wolfgang also enjoy spending time with their three daughters and six grandchildren. Visit for more of Helga’s recipes.

© 2011 The Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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  1. Hello Hega,

    Delicous cookies. Have you heard of an old childhood favorite called Old Fashioned Gingerbread which were sold at community stores for .25 cents the texture was between a cake and a cookie? they were sold next to the Stage Plank, but were thicker and more spicy with a thin white icing they were in size about 3″ W and 5-6″ L. I would love to enjoy these again.


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