Pfeffernusse Cookies

Pfeffernusse | Bakewell Junction

Pfeffernusse | Bakewell Junction

This week I’m sharing a recipe that reminds me of the Pfeffernusse that my sisters and I loved from Stella D’Oro.  The company is still around but it’s been sold at least once and they no longer make Pfeffernusse or at least I can’t find them.  There are other cookies that we remember fondly but I haven’t found recipes for those yet.

Pfeffernusse (which means pepper nut) are a lightly spiced cookie that’s quite delicious.  Be sure to coat with powdered sugar, since the dough isn’t very sweet.  It’s a great bite-sized treat.


Yield:  75 cookies                  Cook Time:  10 – 15 minutes

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar for coating


Step 1:  Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, black pepper in a medium bowl.  Add the cloves, cinnamon and anise seeds to the flour mixture and set aside.

Step 2:  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer.  Add the egg and beat well until light.  Beat in the almonds.  The flour mixture will be added to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the remaining ingredients.  Mix in the molasses; then mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture; then mix in the brandy; then mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture; then mix in the honey and lemon rind; then mix in the rest of the flour mixture; finally mix in the lemon juice.  Beat well.  Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cookie sheet by covering it with parchment paper or cooking spray.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place at least 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4:  Place powdered sugar in a small bowl.  While cookies are still warm, roll in powdered sugar until well coated.

Storing:  Store cookies in a sealed plastic container.


Recipe from Barbara Grunes’ Joy of Baking cookbook.

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Foodie Friends Friday

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 10 ~ Shoofly Pie

Shoofly Pie by Bakewell Junction

It’s the tenth week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop hosted by Brenda Thompson from  If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

Today I’m sharing another pie recipe that I’ve been wanting to try for a long time.  Many years ago a co-worker brought in a Shoofly pie and having never had one, I was quickly enthralled.  Since then I haven’t been able to find a recipe or even a pie to purchase.  Last year I found a recipe for Shoofly pie bars and they were good but I still wasn’t happy.  I’d seen this recipe on the Eva Bakes website and it looked pretty authentic, so I gave it a try.  I hadn’t realized until I read Eva’s post is that this is an Amish pie and is quite different than what I’m normally accustomed to.

I used the same flaky pie crust recipe on Annalise’s site Completely Delicious as for my apple pie  I liked the results with the apple pie, so I have to say that this pie crust will be my go-to recipe from now on.


Shoofly Pie

Yield:  1 9 inch pie                  Cook Time:  100 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, cold (substituted 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and enough milk to come up to 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 tablespoons vodka or water, cold (substituted rum because I was out of vodka)
  • 1 egg (I use extra large)


  • 1 cup (packed) brown sugar (I used golden brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup cold water

Crumb Topping

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar (I use golden brown sugar)
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening or lard (I substituted 1 stick butter)


Step 1:  For the crust, use 1/2 the recipe stated for one bottom pie crust.  Add flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add butter and coat with the flour mixture.  Pour the mixture onto a work surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll the flour and butter mixture into thin sheets until the butter is combined with the flour.  Gather the mixture back into a pile and scrape the rolling pin as necessary.  When done the mixture will look flaky.  Move the mixture to the bowl and freeze for 15 minutes.

Step 2:  After the mixture is chilled, add the buttermilk.  Stir mixture with a spoon until it forms a ball.  You may need to do some of the stirring by hand.  Shape dough into a flat disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight (will keep for up to three days).

Step 3:  To roll out the refrigerated dough, let it sit for five minutes in your workspace.  Place the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thick with a floured rolling pin.  The rolled dough should be about 13 inches in diameter.  Use your rolling pin to lift and move the pie crust to your 9 inch deep dish pie plate.  Cut off any excess dough.  Fold under any extra dough and crimp to have a nice finish.  Place the pie plate in the refrigerator for at least an hour until the filling is ready.

Step 4:  For the filling, stir together brown sugar and egg in a large bowl.  Add the molasses and honey and stir to to combine.  In a measuring cup add baking soda to the boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Add the cold water to the boiling water and stir.  Combine water with the egg mixture.

Step 5:  Transfer filling to the unbaked crust.  Place the filled pie in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 6:  In the interim, prepare the crumb topping.  Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.  Cut shortening into the flour mixture until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly on top of pie filling.

Step 7:  Bake for 10 minutes with aluminum underneath to catch any possible drippings.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 50 minutes or until done.  You may want to cover the pie crust until half way through baking so the crust doesn’t get too dark.

Step 8:  Remove pie from the oven and let cool on rack for at least two hours.

Tips:  To make flaky pie crusts it helps to chill butter and flour before using.  Follow Annalise’s tutorial on Completely Delish.

Storing:  Store baked pie in sealed plastic wrap.  You can freeze the unbaked pie and put it directly into the oven provided it isn’t in a glass or ceramic pie plate.


Filling and crumb recipe adapted from Eva Bakes, originally by Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant.
Crust recipe from Completely Delish

Have a look at the other great cookies in the blog hop by clicking on the Linky Tools link below.  Sorry my blog doesn’t support the blog hop participant icons directly.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 10, November 29, 2012

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I’ve seen some of the other bloggers that participate in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats listing their submissions from the prior weeks.  I like this idea, so I’ve incorporated it into this week’s post.  If you’ve missed my posts for the prior weeks, here’s a reminder:

This post was also entered in the following linky parties.  Click the buttons below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

Sweet 2 Eat Baking