Catholic Culture Podcasts
Catholic Culture Podcasts

Catholic Recipe: Pepernoten or Pfeffernüsse IV (Peppernuts)


  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 cups dark molasses
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 pound brown sugar
  • 10 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 pound citron, cut fine
  • 1/4 pound almonds, chopped fine
  • 1 lemon, rind and juice


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Difficulty:  ★★☆☆

Cost:  ★★★☆

For Ages: 11+

Origin: Austria


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Also Called: Peppernuts; Ginger-bread nuts; Peppernoten; German Pepper Nut Cookies; Pfeffernüsse; German Spice Cookies

This spicy cookie is a delicacy in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and The Netherlands. They are a Trapp family Christmas tradition, and one of the cookies to have "trays and trays of small pastry ready to be eaten at random." This version is full of citron and almonds.

This cookie is also a traditional cookie for the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6. Children will leave their shoes or stockings out to be filled with cookie and candy, such as pfeffernusse.


Warm syrup, add shortening and lemon juice and the remaining ingredients in order given, soda mixed with flour. Roll into little balls, brush with white of egg, place on greased pan far apart, and bake until brown, 350° F. Roll in confectioners' sugar.

Recipe Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955