Peppernuts have been a Christmas tradition in Europe since the 1800s. In more recent history, my family has made these our own tradition. Peppernuts are a small cookie, mostly flavored with anise oil, but this tastes completely different than black licorice. The cookies are quickly whipped up, but take a little time to roll out and cut. These are so worth the wait and are my favorite with a cup of coffee (I always dip mine and savor each bite-size cookie).
Hopefully, you can make this your new family tradition this year and for many to come!
Watch how to make these peppernuts:
- 1 cup lard (or vegetable shortening)
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp real anise oil
- ½ cup sour milk (1 tbsp vinegar with ½ cup milk)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the lard and molasses, 30 seconds. Add the sugar, egg, anise oil, sour milk, and mix well, 1 minute. Add baking soda and flour and mix until only a few streaks of flour remain, 1 minute.
- Shape into cylindrical rolls approximately ½-inch to ¾-inch in diameter. Chill overnight and cut into ¼-inch pieces.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape the peppernuts into an airtight container. Store for up to three months in the freezer.