Second in my Christmas baking series is again from my Women's Weekly cookbook, and again, yummmmmmmmm. Pfeffernussen are a German biscuit that are a variation of gingerbread. I'm constantly on the lookout for the perfect gingerbread recipe and this is my latest attempt. I'm not sure if this will stay my go to recipe, but it's definitely up there as one of the tastiest spiced biscuits I've ever made/eaten and also one of the most straight-forward and simple to make. I think these would make a perfect gift, packed into a jar with a bit of ribbon around the top, or in a larger collection of different types of gingerbread packaged into a rustic box. Mine didn't come out quite as hard as they're supposed to, but I'm not sure if that was a fault in the recipe or the fact that I'm baking in summer weather with really high humidity levels, so if you test this out let me know how you go!
125g (4 ounces) butter
3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
1/3 cup (125g) molasses
2 1/3 cup (350g) plain (all purpose) flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/2 cup (55g) icing (confectioner's) sugar
1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C/325 deg F
2. Chop butter and melt in a saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and molasses and stir until combined.
3. transfer to a large bowl and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
4. Stir in egg, then sifted flour, spices and bicarb soda.
5. Roll into balls and place on baking trays about 3cm apart. Bake for 15 minutes until biscuits are firm to touch.
6. stand biscuits for 10 minutes to cool, and then toss biscuits in icing sugar until completely coated.
*Molasses can be substituted with treacle.
*These biscuits are supposed to be quite hard for the first day or two after baking, perfect for dipping into coffee or tea.
*I like my gingerbread or spice biscuits to be quite spice-y, and this recipe is a little on the mild side. So if you want to up the spices a bit, I think that'd be a brilliant idea.
*Make sure the mixture is quite cool when you go to roll it into balls and bake, because it'll be very sticky otherwise.
*This recipe comes from the Women's Weekly Christmas Baking Cookbook.