Danish Pebernødder Cookies

Danish Pebernødder CookiesDane Good Cookies
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I come from a big tribe of Vikings. In one corner of the ring you have my dad’s side of the family, The Swedes. In the other corner you have my mother’s side, the Danes…and there really is no contest. The Danes outnumber the Swedes by a significant amount. Because of our familial makeup, it makes sense that many of our holiday celebrations have Scandinavian roots. This is no more apparent than in our Christmas cookies.

Scandinavians are fantastic bakers. In fact we can trace a lot of tasty treats back to the old country. The Danes even have an entire category of breakfast named after them. Where they really shine, in my opinion, is with their cookies. It wouldn’t be Christmas in my family if there weren’t any Gingie cookies. I have written about them before, and you will be happy to know that I have gone through two batches already. I will be making two more batches this weekend to hand out to friends. Can’t let Sweden have all the glory though. I will be making traditional Danish Pebernødder along with them.

The Danish people love their warming spices especially at Christmas time. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves are wildly popular flavors that are found all through Danish baking recipes. Pebernødder (or Peppernuts) contain all of the above but they take spice one step further by adding white pepper for some kick. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a large Scandinavian population, you might be able to find these spices already mixed in specifically for Pebernødder this time of year but it’s just as easy to do it yourself.

These cookies are tiny little addictive balls of crunchy goodness that you can eat by the handful. The good news is this recipe makes a lot of them. They are great with a hot cup of tea or coffee or even better with a glass of milk for Santa…

Danish Pebernødder
Makes about 200 small cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
pinch of salt

Make the cookie dough
Sift the flour and spices together and stir together.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg to the butter and mix to combine.

Using a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, add the flour and spice mixture, in two parts, and mix the dough until all ingredients have been incorporated.

Form the cookies
Divide the dough into four pieces and roll them to four long ropes about an inch thick.

Use a knife to cut the bars into small walnut sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

Put the peppernuts on an oven tray lined with parchment paper and bake them at 400 ºF until they are nice and golden (about 8-10 minutes).

All the peppernuts to cool completely and store them in an airtight box or jar.

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