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Glazed Pfeffernuesse

Our version of the classic German cookie is nice to have on hand throughout the holiday season. They stay fresh—and become more intense in flavor—when stored in an airtight container for weeks. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1-1/4 hours + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    about 10 dozen


  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 6 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups finely chopped nuts
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses, water and extract. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Roll dough into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Place additional confectioners' sugar in another shallow bowl. Remove cookies to wire racks; cool 5 minutes. Dip tops of warm cookies in glaze and allow excess to drip off; dip in confectioners' sugar. Cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.
Editor's Note
This recipe does not use eggs.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 74 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 32mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • Katrina
    Nov 10, 2018

    These were very good. The other reviews are commenting on how the process is long. I made the recipe exactly as stated, but took cookies off pan (with fingers, they’re pretty solid) and immediately put in the glaze. I then placed them on the rack and when I had two rows accumulated, I sifted the powdered sugar over them. I felt this made them look nicer and also sped up the process considerably. No, they aren’t a quick cookie, but it wasn’t bad. I had just enough glaze for all of them. I made just over 5 dozen, and I used a 1 inch cookie scoop so be sure to go smaller if you want the 10 dozen listed.

  • gjcaudera
    Dec 9, 2015

    I am so glad I found this recipe. Usually I can find these in the supermarket but have not been able to find. in the last couple of years. So now I can make my own. I will add more to this comment after I have made them.

  • Janadele
    Nov 30, 2015

    Good Christmas cookies for a variety.

    Nov 6, 2012

    Family & co workers alike loved these cookies. Sure they took a bit of time to prep and make but it was well worth the effort. Loved the simple glaze and used it on other cookies.

  • coldaug
    Aug 28, 2012

    Perfect for making ahead for the holidays, these took a little bit of time to apply the glaze and powdered sugar, but were easy enough for kids to help make!