Christmas Bakery – Peffernüsse, a German Christmas Recipe

English: Christmas cookies and decoration.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The First Advent Sunday is today and Christmas season has officially started. Traditionally the four weeks of Advent are represented by four candles on an Advent wreath. The first one will get lit today and then it’s only four more weeks until Christmas eve is here!

Christmas cookies are a must for this festive holiday season. So we thought of starting you out with a scrumptious recipe for traditional “Peffernüsse” by our guest author Gabriele Utz of MyBestGermanRecipes. She  will share with us one of her favorite recipes on each of the four Advent Sundays plus a special one for New Year‘s Eve. Give it a try and fill your home with the sweet scents of gingerbread spices!

Happy First of Advent!


(by Gabriele Utz,

This is an authentic German Pfeffernusse recipe as you would find in Germany. German Pfeffernusse are traditional Christmas cookies and very popular. You can find them in any bakery or supermarket in Germany. Get some German tradition into your home with this recipe. The ingredient Hirschhornsalz, in English Hartshorn or Ammonium Carbonate, is a traditional Gingerbread (Lebkuchen) ingredient since hundreds of years and was originally taken from deer’s antlers. It makes the dough raise but not in height, it makes it wider. Happy Baking!


Ingredients (20 pieces) German Pfeffernusse
125 honey
50 g sugar
2 tbsp butter
250 g flour (whole grain if you like)
1/2 tsp Hirschhornsalz (Ammonium Carbonate) – Find here the German original or an American product:
Ammonium Carbonate (Baker’s Ammonia) 2.7 oz
1 egg
2 tsp ginger bread spice – Edora Lebkuchen Gewurz (Gingerbread Spices) 1 – .05oz Package
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 pinch salt
125 g powdered sugar
1 tbsp rum

Baking Instructions German Pfeffernusse 
– Heat butter, honey and sugar and melt it.
– Mix flour, egg, Hirschhornsalz and spices, add honey dough and knead it  thoroughly with knead hooks.
– Form balls out of the dough and bake them on 190 C or 375 F for 12 minutes; bake the next portion only for 10 minutes.
– Make the glaze out of powdered sugar and rum and a bit of water.
– Spread glaze over the cooled off cookies and let them dry.
– Keep them at least 2 days in a tin box with a piece of bread or a piece of apple, so they get soft.
If you like you can make  a dark chocolate glaze and spread it on half of the cookies, and have the other half white.

Recipe Article Source:


MyBestGermanRecipes.comMyBestGermanRecipes is the creation of Gabriele Utz. Interested in cooking and baking ever since she can think of she now has turned her passion into reality, and has started an online cookbook with authentic German recipes in 2010. The website offers more than 300 original German recipes. 
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