I like my cookies how I like my personality – sweet and spicy as fuck.
The one thing about the holiday season that I looked forward to the most while growing up was the box of mixed homemade cookies my dear grandmother would send me. I never knew the names of any of the cookies (nor did I even know what ingredients they were made from), but I knew they were all delicious and filled with a bunch of spices I wasn’t typically used to eating. It wasn’t up until this last year that I finally figured out what the name of my favorite cookie from this variety box was called – pfeffernüsse!
What are Pfeffernüsse cookies?
Pfefferüsse (pronounced: feh-fer-noos) cookies are tiny spiced treats commonly found in Germany, Holland, and Belgium around the holiday season. These sweet, spicy, and slightly crunchy pastries have been around since the 1800s, and the name is German for “pepper nut”, relating to the dash of pepper that is commonly mixed into the dough.
How to make Vegan Pfeffernüsse Cookies
These cookies are like biting into a powdery pillow of love. They’re:
& Perfectly Balanced
Start off by preheating the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with a nonstick surface (such as a silicone baking mat or parchment paper).
Next, prep your flax egg. This is as simple as combining one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water. Mix this with a fork and set it aside to thicken for about ten minutes.
Combine the Dry Ingredients
Whip out a large mixing bowl and combine the dry ingredients. This includes the sifted all-purpose flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper, salt, baking soda, and the optional cardamom. Whisk all of these ingredients together and set the bowl aside while you move on to the next step.
Combine the Wet Ingredients
Whip out another bowl, but this time, make it a medium-sized bowl to combine the wet ingredients. First, combine the room temperature coconut oil with the brown sugar and mix with a fork or a hand mixer until it forms an even mixture. Next, add in the molasses, thickened flax egg, and vanilla. Once again, mix until well combined.
Combine the Wet & Dry Ingredients
Add the wet mixture to the dry and gently fold the ingredients together until a dough forms. If the dough seems too dry and crumbly, try mixing the dough with your hands for a few moments until it comes together and can hold the shape of a ball.
Shape & Bake
Scoop the dough into small-sized balls and place them on your baking sheet lined with a nonstick surface. Make sure the cookies are firmly pressed into a ball to ensure that they maintain their shape. Once all of the dough has been used up, place the cookies in your preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Cool & Coat
Once the cookies have finished baking, immediately transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Once the cookies have cooled completely, it’s time to coat them! Place all of the cooled cookies in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and add about one-third a cup of powdered sugar. Seal the bag completely and give it a good shake to coat the cookies. And that’s that!
These cookies can be stored in a ziplock bag for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
More goodies for your holiday cookie box!
For visual instruction, check out this video!
Happy Holidays, my loves!
Vegan Pfeffernüsse Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- dash of cardamom (optional)
- ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (mixed with 3 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Prep the flax egg by combining 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water. Set aside to thicken.
- Whisk the flour and spices together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil and brown sugar with a fork or hand mixer, and then add the molasses, thickened flax egg, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold to combine. If the dough seems too dry and crumbly, try mixing with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Roll the dough into small/medium-sized balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick surface.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes. Once they're done, immediately transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, place them in a large ziplock bag and add the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and gently shake the cookies to coat them in the sugar.
- Flaxseed egg: An equal amount of chia seeds combined with an equal amount of water.
- Coconut oil: Any vegan butter of choice.