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December 23rd is reserved for National Pfeffernusse Day, a German spice cookie. Very popular around the holidays, pfeffernusse are fluffy cookies made with ground nuts and spices and covered in powdered sugar.

The exact origin of the cookie is unknown. However, the Dutch believe that pfeffernusse (or pepernoten) are linked to the feast of Sinterklaas, which is celebrated on December 5 in the Netherlands and December 6 in Germany and Belgium. This holiday is when children receive gifts from St. Nicholas, who is partially the inspiration for the Santa Claus tradition. 

Over time, many bakers have created their own pfeffernusse recipes. Traditional methods included various nuts such as almonds and walnuts. Some modern recipes exclude nuts altogether along with the black pepper, retaining only cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom as flavorings. Bakers also use molasses and honey to sweeten the cookie.

More cookies….

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPfeffernusseDay

Break out your favorite pfeffernusse recipe and start baking. This is one holiday tradition that will bring back memories for many of you. Not only will you be able to savor the delicious spicy-sweet cookies, but you can also pass down the tradition to another generation. Once you have a good stack of them baked and cooled, package them up as sweet gifts for loved ones. They will appreciate the cookies and your thoughtfulness.

Do you have recipes to share? Be sure to use #NationalPfeffernusseDay to post on social media.


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