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McCormick(R) & Company

This spiced cookie, traditionally prepared at Christmas, features black pepper. 'Pfeffernusse' is the German word for 'peppernuts.' The black pepper enhances the spice taste without adding heat.

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 25 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 105 kcal
  • 5%
  • Fat:
  • 4.2 g
  • 6%
  • Carbs:
  • 15.5g
  • 5%
  • Protein:
  • 1.5 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 27 mg
  • 9%
  • Sodium:
  • 95 mg
  • 4%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Place brown sugar and butter in large mixer bowl. Cream with electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Add remaining ingredients, except confectioners sugar, to sifted flour and sift again. Gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into ovals and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from cookie sheets and place on wire racks. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar while cookies are still warm. When cookies are cool, store in airtight containers.
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We couldn't find Grandma's recipe so we gave this one a try. Not bad but not as dark (or as good)as we remember. We sent this recipe to Grandma and she said it was missing dark molasses. I'll post her recipe when she sends it.


I did not care for this recipe. These are not peppernuts as we know them over here in the Netherlands. Ingredients of peppernuts are: sugar, cacao, salt, milk powder, cacao butter, skined milk, vanilla, speculaas, cinnamon, pepper, and vegetable fat


The spicy flavor is very nice BUT the consistency of the dough is all wrong. Even after 4 hours of chilling it was soft and gooey, and almost impossible to shape, more like a drop batter. The cookies baked up round and flat. I added another 2/3 cup of flour to make the dough manageable, and it didn't seem to make a significant change in the taste.