October has not even said goodbye and yet shops around Copenhagen are already highlighting the sweetness of Christmas. It´s through a simple but sweet greeting — cookies. No, this isn´t something like fortune cookies. It´s called pebernødder or “pepper nuts” with Pfefferneussen as its German counterpart. These cookie nuggets are highly Danish in terms of it being part of the Danish culture since 1500s, being served with tea as snack or finger food during Christmas.
While walking around the city today with my friends, I noticed and almost counted the shops I checked out that offered a plate of these sweet bites free to customers. So, what´s in these tasty little cookies that make everyone addicted to it during this season. I have searched online and asked Danes around for a simple recipe that would give you the perfect pebernødder this Christmas.
PEBERNØDDER (“PEPPER NUTS”)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom (ground)
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Mix butter and sugar in a bowl until well blended.
- Add the eggs and whisk it until fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and finally add it into the butter mix. Stir and come up with a smooth dough.
- Divide the dough into six balls and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
- Roll each dough in thin films or rolls and cut them into small pieces.
- Heat the oven to 200 ℃ (390 F)
- Make the small pieces into little balls or “nut” shape and place them on ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake them for 12 minutes or until there are golden brown.
These cookies, according to someone I asked, can last in cookie jars for 1-2 weeks as long as it is tightly sealed. It is not hard to make but, definitely, it takes time to roll it. But, whatever, it´s delicious! So, enjoy making your first pebernødder!