Today I want to share with you my Aunt Dorothy’s recipe for German Peppernuts (aka Pfefferneuse). She developed this recipe herself because none that she could find tasted quite right, and it was her guarded secret for many years, so you won’t find anything quite like it on the internet.
My Aunt Dorothy was one of my favorite people, even though we didn’t get to see her often. She lived in Florida and I remember only a few visits during my childhood and teen years. Once my family drove an RV to Florida to visit her (and Disneyworld). The trip was so very memorable because she and Uncle Tuck had a pet squirrel who lived in the trees of their back yard. He would come down and check Uncle Tuck’s pockets for nuts, and if he held a nut in his hand, the squirrel would peel back his fingers one at a time until it could steal it. It was one of the cutest things I’d ever seen! I spent many days the next summer trying to coax squirrels out of Nanny’s trees so that I could pet them and tame them like Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Tuck had. It never worked.
Now on to the recipe. Be sure to notice that the dough needs to rest overnight before baking. If you’re like me and wait until the last minute to bake, you might put yourself into a bind.
Aunt Dorothy’s German Peppernuts (aka Pfefferneuse)
Here's all you need
Cream together first four ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with spoon and then with hands. (This is how the original recipe reads. I used my Kitchenaid Mixer with the paddle attachment on "Stir" and it came out great!) The consistency is somewhere between wet sand and clay at this point. Cover and let sit overnight (at least 8 hours) to develop flavor. Aunt Dorothy's recipe didn't specify, but I put mine in the fridge because of the raw eggs. Preheat oven to 325. Take a golf ball size piece and knead like clay. At first it will seem too dry, but the warmth of your hands will help it to stick together. Roll into a rope about the size of a pencil or the tip of your pinkie finger. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Place one inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes. Let cool and store in airtight container.
I didn’t realize it had been so long since we’d made these. J-Bear had never had them before. He was slightly skeptical and just wanted one to taste. I told him it wouldn’t be enough. Now he’s calling them Crack Cookies and wanted some to take to school with him this morning.
These last a long, long time if you store them in an airtight container (but I don’t think it will take you that long to eat them). I hope you’ll give them a try. Don’t let the unusual ingredients scare you off – they really are delicious.