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Home/Blog/Pfeffernüsse Cookies: the Perfect Christmas Cookie

Pfeffernüsse Cookies: the Perfect Christmas Cookie

By Holly Darnell, RD

December 22, 2023

Pfeffernüsse cookies

Gingerbread and Christmas sugar cookies are a fave come holiday time, but what about Pfeffernüsse cookies? This German or Dutch cookie is made with several spices and usually dusted with powdered sugar, and it’s a world favorite at Christmas time.

Fortunately, you can make these relatively low-sugar cookies just as delicious. See below!

What Are Pfeffernüsse Cookies?

Pfeffernüsse cookies are a type of traditional German and Dutch spice cookie. What does "Pfeffernüsse" mean? It translates to "pepper nuts" in English.

These cookies are popular during the Christmas season in these European countries but now also in the U.S. They’re recognized for their spiced flavor, slightly tough texture, powdered appearance and perfectly round shape.

These cookies usually combine different nuts like almonds and hazelnuts. Our version uses Paleo flour and almond flour. Rather than use just one spice, typically Pfeffernüsse cookies use several, such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves (yes, our version uses all four!).

Honey or molasses is traditionally used as the main sweetener. Our version uses molasses and coconut sugar.

These are also quite fun to make with the family, as the aroma is divine and the process ends up with small balls that are baked til firm. Then they’re cooled and coated with powdered sugar. Yum!

Pfeffernüsse cookies ingredients

How to Make Pfeffernüsse Cookies

First, preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a medium bowl, add in dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, almond flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, sea salt, baking soda and collagen powder. Mix until combined.

The collagen comes from Multi Collagen Protein so you can also enjoy some support for your skin, gut and joints!

For the gluten-free flour blend, you can buy a Paleo flour or make your own with 1½ cups almond flour, 1 cup arrowroot flour, 1 cup coconut flour and ½ cup tapioca flour. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Put in an airtight container and store in a dry place.

Melt the coconut oil, then in a separate, small bowl, add in melted oil, coconut sugar, molasses and egg. Whisk until combined.

Pfeffernüsse cookies directions

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. If the mixture is too dry, add in water one tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer dry.

Using a small cookie scoop, roll cookie dough into one-inch balls and place one inch apart on the lined baking sheet.

How to make pfeffernüsse cookies

Bake 13 to 15 minutes — until small cracks form on the top. Allow cookies to cool completely and then sprinkle with powdered monkfruit sweetener.

To store, cover leftover cookies tightly and store at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make Ahead of Time

Cookie dough can be prepared, scooped and chilled for up to 48 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.

The dough can also be shaped and frozen for up to three months. Thaw and bring to room temperature before baking.

Other Holiday Treats

Recipe developed by Holly Darnell, RD. Holly is a registered dietitian nutritionist who unlocked self-love at the intersection of exceptional food and practical solutions for healthy living. She’s passionate about helping others make simple, positive lifestyle changes on their individual path to healing.

Pfeffernüsse Cookies Recipe

Category

Desserts

Servings

18

Time

30 min (Prep time: 15 min; Cook time: 15 min)

Calories

160

Author

Holly Darnell, RD

Want to add to your Christmas cookie repertoire? Then start making these divine Pfeffernüsse cookies that hail from Germany and the Netherlands. These spice cookies are loaded with flavor and feature just the perfect texture.

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour blend* or store-bought Paleo flour

  • ¾ cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 scoops Multi Collagen Protein

  • ½ cup melted coconut oil

  • ¾ cup coconut sugar

  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

  • 1 egg

  • powdered monkfruit sweetener, optional

* Gluten-free flour blend: 1½ cups almond flour, 1 cup arrowroot flour, 1 cup coconut flour, ½ cup tapioca flour.

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

  2. In a medium bowl, add in dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, almond flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, sea salt, baking soda and collagen powder. Mix until combined.

  3. In a separate, small bowl, add in melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, molasses and egg. Whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. If the mixture is too dry, add in water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer dry.

  4. Using a small cookie scoop, roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on the lined baking sheet.

  5. Bake 13–15 minutes; until small cracks form on the top. Allow cookies to cool completely and then sprinkle with powdered monkfruit sweetener.

Nutrition

1 serving (65 g) serving contains:

  • Calories: 160

  • Total Carbohydrates: 22.6 g

    • Fiber: 2.1 g

    • Sugar: 9.3 g

  • Total Fat: 6.7 g

    • Saturated Fat: 5.4 g

    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g

    • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 g

    • Trans Fat: 0 g

  • Protein: 3.4 g

  • Cholesterol: 9 mg

  • Sodium: 104 mg (7% DV*)

*Daily Value: Percentages are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day.

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