Christmas Baking Begins

 I started my Christmas baking yesterday and made things that need to sit for a time to allow their flavors to develop. Pfeffernusse are an old German favorite.  You might have eaten these store bought before but homemade is definitely better when it comes to these cookies.


  • 1/4 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon whole milk, cold from the refrigerator
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg, cold from the refrigerator
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water



1 Preheat your oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon baking mat.

2 Make the cookie dough: Warm the molasses, honey, and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the spices and salt. Let cool until just warm to the touch.

Stir in the milk, baking soda, and egg. Add the flour and stir until most of the flour is absorbed. Using your hands, knead the dough until the remaining flour is incorporated.

3 Shape the cookies: Pinch off about a teaspoon of dough and roll a 1-inch ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls of dough 1-inch apart from each other.

4 Bake in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are just starting to brown.

5 Stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water to make the glaze.

6 Glaze the cookies: Once the cookies are done baking, pull the pan out of the oven and brush the hot cookies with the glaze, making sure to cover as much of the tops and sides as possible. Don’t worry if some of the glaze drips onto the baking sheet.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet until the glaze is dry to the touch, then move to a cooling rack. The cookies improve (the spices mellow and the texture softens) after a day or two in a sealed airtight container.


I also made my mincemeat.  I always make this using baking grade suet but could not get it this year due to covid quarantine so I subbed butter and Crisco.  I also was short on some other ingredients and ended up adding more nuts, dates and figs.  I think I might like this version more than my old recipe.  If you want to give it a go, you can see the recipe and step by step here:

Since I won't be having any big parties or much of a normal Christmas, I am going to take my time and try to make the best cookie trays I've ever made. I think people can use some special Christmas cheer this year.


Jan said…
I just love mincemeat cookies and pie. So did my FIL. I'll never forget the first time I took mincemeat cookies to their house for Christmas. He asked how I knew he liked them. I said I didn't but that they were my favorite and my mother made them a lot when I was growing up. She used to bake dozens and give to the neighbors. I remember going up and down the street delivering them with her. Well on Christmas eve that year he bought a mincemeat pie and told me it was just for him and I. I was so excited, I had not had that pie for a very long time. It was a special sweet that we shared each year. I miss him. Haven't had a good mincemeat pie in years.
The recipients of your cookie trays are going to be in for a real treat.
Can Your cookie trays be better than what they already are? :-)

Have a great day!

Mike said…
When you send me my cookies, don't forget to pack them carefully. I don't want broken cookies!
I wish I had your energy!
Guillaume said…
'Tis the season to be eating and stuffing oneself. I envy your skills as a baker.
Rain said…
Wow those Pfeffernusse look delicious! I have to start my Christmas baking soon!