Thursday, February 19, 2009

[Cookie 001] Pfeffernussen

Pfeffernussen

Preamble: Ok, so here it goes. I am making a four year commitment here. Well, more like 3.5, but we'll say 4 for the sake of sounding even. This is my very first cookie baked as part of my Martha Stewart 4 Year Cookie Experience, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Martha Stewart (get it? bad joke). Anyways, diligently I will plow through her cookbook, trying not to repeat any recipes, until I have made all 150 cookies and treats. Hopefully I will complete this by the time I finish college, which, if I make 1 recipe a week and my calculations are correct, should take me about 3 years total. Better get cookin'...

Thanks Martha

So February is halfway complete, and if that doesn't blow your mind, I don't know what will. Maybe these cookies? Eh, they're good, but not necessarily mind blowingly good. These Pfeffernussen--"Peppernut" in English--cookies are tasty and delightful, but nothing too remarkable. But really, they are very very tasty, don't get me wrong, but they aren't very different. I recommend you make them, though, because they are tasty and simple! Crowd pleasers too! And the name is so fun to say; plus, it sounds complicated and gourmet and makes you sound like a fancy pastry chef.

Butter

The Pfeffernussen in particular were so easy to make and were texturally spectacular! Yes! They had just the right amount of crunchyness on the edges while still maintaining a perfectly soft pillow-like texture in the middle. I also really loved how every so often you could taste a bit of ground black pepper in the cookie; a little bit of spice!

Pfeffernussen, pre-sugar coating

And look how cute they are!! Aw! I just liked looking at them all lined up on the baking sheet like little pyjama buttons. HOWEVER, be forewarned that they are ridiculously messy to eat! Confectioner sugar flies everywhere when you bite into them.

Pfeffernussen

Pfeffernussen
Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioners' sugar in a brown paper bag (I used a tupperware container).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Place butter, brown sugar, and molasses in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Pinch off dough in tablespoon amounts; roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Arrange balls 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (Dough can be frozen at this point, covered tightly with plastic wrap, up to 1 month.)
  4. Bake until cookies are golden and firm to the touch with slight cracking, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer sheets to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Working in batches, place cookies in paper bag; shake until well coated. Let cool completely on wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
****

{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 2/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
Tastiness: 4/5
Attractiveness: 3/5
Is it worth it?: Yes!

5 comments:

Barbara said...

What a great resource.

mama-bono said...

awesome blog! im confused about "Ingredient Accessibility: 2.5/5" . so it was like, only kind of easy to find the ingredients in the market? or is it a measure of how likely you are to have the ingredients in your cupboard already?

-claire

Lizzie said...

great question. it's a little of both...so if it calls for something like "evaporated milk" or "saffron" or something, i'd say it isn't very accessible. which makes me realize that i graded this one completely wrong. it should be a 4/5 because the ingredients were very easy to come by.

☾ Ash ♡ said...

Oh, wow! They look Soooooo Good!

Roo said...

I made these as a part of my Christmas baking. They have been approved of by my son Tom (8), my greatest critic, my dad who is German and who far prefers these over the bought ones, and a distant relative (my Oma's cousin's granddaughter) visiting from Germany who says these are better than the ones they bake at home, so I gave her the recipe. Thank you :O)