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Every year I am asked about this recipe, so this year, my sister called and said,
"I want to learn how to make Pfeffernusse." So we penciled in a calendar date and had a fun time in her kitchen making all sorts of recipes that we love, and learned how, too many fingers in the dough, can spoil everything.
Remember before you bake these cookies, you need to make sure your cupboard is stocked with those special spices from the deli. Find out, how disastrous it can be with two sisters in the same kitchen.


Step One:
  • 1 1/2 C honey
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons /15 grams Neunerlei Lebkuchen Gewurz (this is a gingerbread spice purchased at Delicatessen)

  1. Warm honey in microwave and add sugar and spices.
  2. Cool mixture to room temperature.

Step Two:
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  1. Melt margarine and add sour cream.
  2. Now add to honey mixture.

Step Three:
  • 6 cups cups flour(you may need to add 1/2 cup more as it needs to be thick)
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda

  1. Blend flour and soda into mixing bowl.
  2. Sift together flour and baking soda and add the honey mixture and mix well.
  3. I usually use my kneading hook, as this dough is heavy. One time I broke my cookie beaters.

  1. Place in fridge overnight to cool. 
  2. To bake, grease cookie sheets
  3. Roll dough into rolls (snakes) and slice.(thickness of your index finger)
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake for 9 minutes. Just slightly browned.
  5. When baked, leave cookies on sheet 2 minutes, then remove from pan.
Sometimes I leave the dough in the fridge for days and let the young ones make snakes together with me. It takes time rolling them out, but its fun if you do it with someone else and make an activity out of it. This yields about one ice-cream pail.
I actually bake a few pans every Advent Sunday, and that way they are fresh.

The best way to eat these are to dip them in a fresh cup of coffee.


  1. I've come across many Pfeffernusse recipes but never the final ingredient. What is it and what is special about it?

  2. I used to buy the nunerlei lebkuchengewurz at Funks, and have looked at the delis in the area, but still cannot find it. Where did you find it?

  3. I baked Pfeffernusse Saturday as well. My recipe uses Rogers golden syrup instead of the honey and peppermint extract and black pepper are added with the spices to give them the characteristic flavour. I imagine your Lebkuchen Gewurz would do the same thing.
    However you make them, DO! They are addictive and are eaten like peanuts in our family. Christmas is not the same without a bowl of Pfeffernusse on the table.

  4. I too, have made many different recipes, but it must be the combination of those packages.
    I bought those spices in our local European/deli.
    Klassic European Deli...Main St, in our neck of the woods.
    I might try a new business....I"m trying to push them through this comment.

  5. I don't know what Nunerlei puts in their package, but traditionally, the Lebkucken spice is a combo of:
    2 T. ground cinnamon
    2 tsp. ground cloves
    1/2 tsp. ground allspice
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. ground coriander
    1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/2 tsp. ground Star Anise
    Until Marg starts up a Nunerlei distribution business, maybe this option will help in the meantime, because trust me, you all want pfefferneusse on your table at Christmas! They are that good.

  6. my sister & I did our baking today too!

  7. Funny story! and you all must eat lots of ice cream to have all those ice cream buckets!

  8. How yummy! I would love to try to make this!

  9. Neunerlei Lebkuchen Gewurz?
    Is there something I can sub for this? I know I'll never find it in my neck of the woods (Iowa). I really would like to make some pfeffernusse.

  10. In my family, we've always known them as "peppernuts" probably because it was easier to say as kids!!

    We use maple syrup for the "syrup" portion of the recipe. I've also never heard of the spice mix, but our recipe uses a spice list very similar to what Karen posted. In addition, we also have mace and (regular)anise on the list.

  11. If you use 1 1/2 pkg of the Nunerlei in the Pfeffernusse recipe how much of the homemade spice( in Karen's comment) do you use in that same recipe?

  12. I'm just wondering if you can use butter in this or if the quantity changes. I don't think it would but I can't think of a good reason not to use butter.

    And just seems like many in our group haven't yet gotten the message that butter is much better for health than margarine. My grandma only started using margarine in the 40s but always said they used butter on the farm. When I see Amish products, they always have margarine or worse yet Crisco. There are no vitamins in those and lots of the bad transfats!

  13. hello there....I followed the recipe to the "T" (and thank you for the great recipe!)but my cookies turned out flat. I think i cut them a little big, but they looked great in the oven (like little pillows) but once i took them out of the oven, they flattened out and are still chewy.

    any idea what I did wrong? I'm wondering if i over beat the batter in my stand mixer? perhaps an altitude adjustment is needed? (Imin Alberta).


  14. I found some packets of the Lebkuchen Gewurz spice mix on this website: It says it is a "gingerbread" spice mix and I bet each brand varies a bit, just like Indian masala spice mixes do.

    Each packet of the Ostmann brand is 15 grams, which is probably about 2.5 tablespoons. So assuming the Ostmann and Nunerlei packets are the same size (likely given the picture of the spice packet here in the post) this recipe would require about 3.5 tablespoons of the spice mix.

    I'm sure you can poke around online or use the above spice mix suggestion to find something that you will like. Here's one (you can let Google translate it for you):

  15. Hi Readers,
    Some of you have been struggling to find these Specialty spices.
    Here is a website of how you can make your own.
    I know that Hofstede's in Chilliwack is also carrying them this year.

    Hopefully this will be helpful to you.
    It's sort of like that secret ingredient that makes all the difference.

  16. Hello, I've very intrigued by this "new to me" recipe. As I like gingerbread boy cookies, these look very good. I'd like to try these but I can't seem to wrap my brain around them. Are they very hard cookies and you dunk them in your coffee? Or are they easy to eat without dunking them? Or are they chewy? Do they have a strong sweet flavour like gingerbread cookies? I visit your website everyday (love it) and find it's the perfect way to take a little time for myself. Merry Christmas from Alberta, Canada! God bless!