Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pfeffernussen Shortbreads

These are not your classic pfeffernussen. They are more like a pfeffernussen shortbread.

December 21st.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds (I use the food processor)
  • Marcona almonds
  • granulated sugar

1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add brown sugar, beating well. Add egg, anise extract, and almond extract.

2. Combine flour and next 8 ingredients, stir to combine. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in finely chopped almonds.

3. Form dough into a ball and roll out to a 1/8 inch. Cut dough into 2 inch circles. Press a whole almond into center of each circle. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.

4. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar while warm; remove to wire racks to cool completely. tore in airtight containers.

These cookies actually improve with age. Cream the sugar with the butter.

Add the egg.

Add the anise extract.

Add the almond extract.

I always add my spices and baking powder to the wet ingredients before I add the flour.

Add the baking powder and the cinnamon.

Add the cloves.

Then the nutmeg.

Add the cocoa.

Add the pepper.

Grate the orange rind.

This is the right consistency for the nuts.

Beat in the flour with your paddle attachment.

If you can't find Marcona almonds, use regular whole almonds.

Roll out the dough.

Before they are baked.

After they are baked. They should just be beginning to brown around the edge.

Sprinkled with sugar. I used vanilla sugar.

These burst with all the flavors of Christmas.

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