What are Peppernuts? A delicious, crunchy, spicy miniature cookie, traditionally made at Christmas time in Russian Mennonite, German and Dutch homes. They are “spicy little holiday sweets about the size of a nut. They may be dark and peppery, soft and light, or crisp and crunchy” (via). They are also known as Pfefferneuse, Pebbnodder, Pepernoten, and who knows what else… Whatever you call them, they’re delicious by any name! (Okay, I know they look a little like dog food, but they really are yummy!!!)
We love peppernuts – the kids love to stuff them in their pockets for snacks on the go, and the adults love to dunk them in their coffee. They’re very addictive – I bet you can’t eat just one!
I have started using my gluten free gingerbread dough for these, because it’s so spicy and such a perfect texture – even after days, they stay crispy. They taste an awful lot like the crunchy gingernut biscuits you can buy, except a little more peppery, and a lot more healthy!
The traditional way of making them is to roll out pencil sized pieces of dough, and cut them into little circles and bake until crisp… but I found that very time-consuming, so now I just do it like this:
1. Make your gingerbread dough with this recipe – and make sure it’s really spicy and a bit peppery!
2. Divide the dough into four pieces, wrap in plastic wrap (or baking paper) flatten to a rectangular shape, and refrigerate for a day or two (or three) to let the flavours develop.
3. When you’re ready to make them, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and roll one rectangle of dough out on a silicon mat (or piece of baking paper) until it’s a bit less than a centimetre thick. With a butter knife, cut 1 centimetre strips, then squares…
…place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper (make sure they’re not touching), and bake for 10 to 15 minutes – until nicely browned and crunchy.
4. Leave them to cool, then put them into jars. You can store them in the fridge or freezer if you want them to last longer!
But they probably won’t last long anyway, once the kids get their hands on them!!