Grandma Young's Pfeffernusse
Recipe type: Christmas cookies
Cuisine: German-American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: lots & lots
When my dad was a little boy, he tells the story of how he always had a handful of these little cookies in his pockets when he went out to do farm chores. I love that story. Now you can make some of them for your own little chore boy or girl!
  • 4 cups brown sugar, well-packed
  • 12 cups white sugar
  • 2 quarts lard
  • 1 quart water or milk
  • 2 quarts dark corn syrup
  • 1 Tb each: cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg, allspice, ginger
  • 2 Tb ground cardamom
  • 4 Tb ground star anise
  • 6 Tb baking powder
  • 1 Tb baking soda
  • 2 Tb salt
  • 40 cups (more or less) flour or enough to make a very stiff dough.
  1. Boil sugar, lard, syrup, and water/milk until dissolved. Allow to cool.
  2. Add other ingredients. Early additions of flour may be done with a mixer, but most will have to be mixed in by a strong arm.
  3. Shape into very small pieces: use either snake method, or cut-slab method.
  4. Place an empty baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven to make more even baking. Peppernuts burn quite easily, and ideally should be baked until just before burning point.
  5. Place dough pieces on cookie sheets, and bake one at a time in middle rack of oven.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
  7. Note from Dad: "Aunt Clara's recipe was at least double the recipe above. One half of the above recipe makes a huge batch. One fourth is probably more sane."
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