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These spiced German biscuits are a traditional treat come Christmas, but really, we love them any time of year.

By Alice Storey & Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus resting
  • Serves 20
  • Print
Translating to "pepper nuts", these deliciously spiced German biscuits are a traditional Christmas treat, but are irresistible any time of year. By making the biscuit dough in advance and leaving it overnight, the spices deepen to give the best flavour.


  • 335 gm plain flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed aniseed
  • ¼ tsp each ground allspice, ground nutmeg and ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125 gm butter, softened
  • 120 gm brown sugar
  • 60 gm blackstrap molasses
  • 1 egg
Spiced icing
  • 100 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
  • Pinch each of ground nutmeg and ground cloves


  • 1
    Sift flour into a large bowl, add spices and bicarbonate of soda, and set aside.
  • 2
    Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add molasses, beat to combine, then add egg and beat to combine. Stir in flour mixture with a large pinch of flaked sea salt. Combine to form a dough and refrigerate for flavours to develop (2 hours-overnight).
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 160C. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place on baking trays lined with baking paper. Bake until just firm to touch (16-20 minutes). They'll harden as they cool.
  • 4
    For spiced icing, combine sugar, spices and 1 tbsp water in a large bowl (it should be a thick consistency). Dip pfeffernüsse into the icing and set aside to dry. They will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.


Drink Suggestion: Mulled cider. Drink suggestion by Max Allen