• Prep Time20 mins
  • Total Time6 hrs 45 mins
  • Makesmakes 48 cookies
*PLUS 2 hours drying time

Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Chatelaine Triple Tested


  • 1/3 cup fancy molasses

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp ground anise seed

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 2/3 cup ground walnuts

  • 1/2 cup minced candied lemon peel, plus more for garnish


  • 2 cups icing sugar

  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp water


  • COMBINE molasses, butter, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over medium, stirring until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool, 10 min.

  • WHISK flour, spices, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs into molasses mixture. Stir in flour mixture, then fold in walnuts and candied peel (dough will be sticky and soft). Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten into discs and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hr (preferably overnight).

  • PREHEAT oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

  • DIVIDE each disc in half. Roll 1 half of dough into a log, then cut log into 12 equal pieces. Lightly dust hands with flour, then roll pieces into balls and place on prepared sheet. Bake until slightly firm and cracked on top, 12 to 14 min. Cool for 2 min, then transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

  • GLAZE: Stir icing sugar and water in a small bowl. Dip tops of cookies into glaze, then sprinkle with candied lemon peel. Let dry, about 2 hr.

Nutrition (per cookie)

Calories 75, Protein 1g, Carbohydrates 14g, Fat 2g, Sodium 43mg.

Kitchen Tip: Pfeffernüsse translates to “peppernut” in German, referring to the pepper and ground nuts traditionally used in this Christmas cookie. Pfeffernüsse are often made well in advance of Christmas. People dunk them in coffee or tea to soften them up.

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