Pfeffernusse Activity

3.3 based on 3 ratings
Updated on Dec 3, 2013

Pfeffernusse are spicy and sweet Christmas cookies from Germany. This traditional German cookie is made around the holiday season for friends and family to enjoy. Pfeffernusse translates to "pepper nuts," because of its spicy flavor! Your child will hone her measuring skills as well as build up some upper arm strength while giving these ingredients a good stir! The baking process may seem like a chore to her, but her taste buds will be rewarded with a spicy and aromatic batch of holiday pfeffernusse. Make a batch of traditional pfeffernusse this holiday season.

What You Need:

  • ¾ cup room temperature butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon each of salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
  • 4 cups flour
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Invite your child to measure the butter, sugar, and molasses into a medium mixing bowl and give a good stir. She’s helping to build the muscles in her arms while combining those ingredients!
  3. Test your child’s sense of smell by having her close her eyes and take a sniff of each the seasonings – pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg -- seeing if she can guess what each one is! Once she’s done giving them a good sniff, she can use measuring spoons to measure each of them. Have her add them to the bowl along with the vanilla, egg, and baking soda dissolved in water.
  4. Once she’s incorporated the ingredients, she can begin adding the flour one cup at a time, until a thick dough is formed.
  5. Invite your child to scoop out small spoonfuls of the dough and give them a roll between her palms creating a nice ball.
  6. The rolled cookies can be placed on a sheet covered in parchment paper, with about 1-inch spacing between cookies.
  7. Place the cookies in the oven and set the kitchen timer for 12 minutes. The warm cookies can be enjoyed as is, or tossed in powdered sugar for an extra special treat!
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

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