December 23: National Pfefferneuse Day

We had blogged about Mexican wedding cookies before and wanted to try the similar-looking powdery pfefferneuse cookies. Both look like little snowballs but the latter is uniquely spiced with pepper and anise and has a softer texture.

Pfefferneuse means “pepper nuts” in German, Danish and Dutch. They are traditionally served around the Feast Day of St. Nicholas (December 6) and throughout the Advent season. When we entertain guests, we put pfefferneuse on a platter with St. Nikolaas Koekjes, fruitcake cookies and white chocolate candy cane drops to offer everyone a variety of Christmas confections.

Add this recipe to your ritual of holiday baking to celebrate winter and National Pfefferneuse Day!


(Adapted from Cooking Light)


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon groung nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon lemon peel, grated
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped (we used walnut chips)
  • ½ teaspoon anise seed
  • powdered sugar


In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In a mixer or another bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the milk until smooth.


Add the grated lemon peel. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend well. Fold in the walnuts and anise seed.


Roll into one-inch balls. Place about two-inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on wire racks. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen.



  • Pfefferneuse is also spelled as pfeffernüsse (German) and known as pebernødder (Danish) and pepernoten (Dutch).
  • Search our blog for other cookie recipes.