Gluten Free Pfeffernusse

Gluten Free Pfeffernusse

Pfeffernusse are a tradition German or Mennonite Christmas cookie. These “pepper nuts” (which is the direct translation) are crunchy little nut sized cookies with pepper as one of the flavours!  These spice cookies go very well with tea but be warned….they are quite addictive! 

There are many different recipes out there for Pfeffernusse.  This particular one I adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook recipe book. Make sure that you have all the spices on hand as they really contribute the characteristic taste to the cookies, especially the ground anise seed.  

Use a gluten free flour blend like this one or a store bought one. 

Gluten Free Pfeffernusse

Ingredients (can be cut in half)

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup golden corn syrup

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground anise

6 cups of gluten free flour, divided 


Cream butter and brown sugar together in a large bow. Add eggs and beat well.

Add syrup and buttermilk to which the baking soda has been added.

Mix together 4 1/2 cups of flour and all the spices in a separate medium sized bowl. Add to butter mixture. Mix well.

Continue adding the remaining flour to form a soft, pliable dough.

Place dough in the freezer for an hour to chill. 

Roll dough into 1/2 inch thick ropes using wet hands as dough will be a bit sticky.  Place ropes on parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Freeze until ready to bake.

With a sharp knife, cut ropes into 1 cm slices and place on cookie sheets that are lined with parchment paper. They should be about the size of a hazelnut.

Bake at 350F for 8-9 minutes. Let cool slightly and then pile each batch onto a clean cool baking sheet.

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Arsenic: Are you getting too much?
Learn about risks of arsenic and the gluten free diet
We respect your privacy.