ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pfeffernüsse / Soft Lady Fingers - Winter Cookies

Updated on December 17, 2012

Winter Baked Goods

When it comes to baked goods, especially cookies and cake, winter is my favorite time of year. With the addition of highly flavored spices, the aromas coming from the kitchen, and the pure pleasure of one of these confections fresh from the oven with wine or coffee, these cookies are some of the highlights of this season.

These two recipes are very different. One, the Pfeffernüsse, is highly spiced. The Other, lady-fingers, is simply sweet with a nice soft bite.

Image Credit WikiCommons
Image Credit WikiCommons

Pfeffernüsse

German, Danish or Dutch for "pepper nut" the cookies can contain nuts, but don't have to.

Yes, there is pepper, but it's not required. I suspect the name was actually coined due to the highly aromatic spices used in this recipe. Despite the very strong flavors, ginger is not typically an ingredient, though I've seen some recipes with ginger in them.

Instead these cookies rely on cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg for the powerful flavors.

The recipe will be divided into utensils needed, ingredients, and directions.

Please note these cookies tend to be very hard and were originally designed as a dipping cookie. In Denmark these are typically served to guests with warm sweet wine. The intention was that the guests would dip the cookie into the wine and then eat it.

I haven't tried that myself, preferring instead just to eat the cookie.

Though initially quite hard these cookies will soften up in a matter of a few days. Regardless they are delicious.

Pfeffernüsse Utensils

Needed to blend and cook the ingredients:

  • 2 Mixing bowls
  • 4 cookie sheets
  • Electric Hand Mixer with wire whisk or standard beaters


Pfeffernüsse Ingredients

The Ingredients include:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup butter -- softened or two eight ounce sticks softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • lots and lots of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 Cup chopped mixed nuts (optional), walnut, pecan, and even pistachio work well
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger (optional)

Note: Many of us get cloves and nutmeg whole. The cloves can be "powdered" in a clean coffee chopper and the nutmeg grated with a very fine grate to get the consistency needed for these cookies. If that doesn't work for you try getting powdered cloves and nutmeg. But, using whole spices (cloves and nutmeg) will give you much better, fresher flavors.

Pfeffernüsse Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease cookie sheets and set aside.

Place flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper in large bowl; stir to combine.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy scraping down side of bowl just once, Beat in the molasses and egg.

Gradually add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until dough forms, scraping down side of bowl once more. Form the dough into a disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove the cookies with spatula to wire racks; dust with sifted powdered sugar while still hot and then cool completely.

Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to seven days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Lady-Fingers. Image Credit WikiCommons
Lady-Fingers. Image Credit WikiCommons

Soft Lady Fingers

This is another favorite. Unlike the Pfeffernusse, these cookies are quite soft and are meant to be eaten alone.

Dipping one of these into a hot drink will result in cookie disintegration so I don't recommend it.

Once you taste one you may decided "neat" is the only way to eat them.

Soft Lady Finger Tools

The following utensils are required:

  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • 2 Cookie sheets
  • Electric Mixer with whisk attachments or standard beaters
  • Piping bag (or large zip-lock plastic bag see below)

Soft Lady Finger Ingredients

The following ingredients are required for soft lady fingers:

  • 5 large eggs, separated, and allowed to come to room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided (see below)
  • 7/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting

Soft Lady Finger Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Grease two cookie sheets lightly and set aside.

Beat yolks with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale yellow, then gradually beat in all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.

Continue beating at medium-high speed until paler yellow, tripled in volume, and thick enough to form a ribbon that takes 5 seconds to run-off when beater is lifted. Beating should take 5 to 7 minutes. Now sprinkle all of the flour over the mixture and stir gently until just combined (batter will be very stiff).

Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar to the beaten egg whites in a slow stream, then beat until whites hold stiff peaks.

Fold* in the egg white mixture gently, one third of whites into flour/yolk mixture at a time, to lighten. Repeat folding with each remaining third gently until all egg white is added.The pastry is now ready to spoon into pastry bag. (see note)

Note: a large zip-lock bag can be used as a pastry bag. Spoon the batter into the bag, pack the batter down gently into one corner, and then, with a pair of scissors, cut off one small corner of the bag. I recommend cutting a small hole first and trying that. If the hole is too small you can cut a slightly larger hole until just the right diameter is attained.

Line the baking sheet with parchment (the light coating of grease will hold the paper in place). Pipe 2 rows of (3 1/2-inch-long) ladyfingers (12 to 16 per row) onto each sheet, piping them so they almost touch. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Bake until pale golden brown, dry, and soft; they should still be springy to the touch, 14 to 16 minutes should do it. Cool completely on baking sheet.

* Folding means adding one ingredient to another by gently turning on part into the other. A good fold is not stirring. Instead it is gently turning the ingredients together until just combined. Folding should not take any more than six turns of spoon. To fold efficiently turn the bowl one third rotation with each fold. Do not worry of the ingredients are completely combined. The point here is to end up with a light fluffy dough.

Coda

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Happy Holidays.

Disclaimer

The author was not compensated in any way; monetarily, with discounts, or freebies by any of the companies mentioned.

Though the author does make a small profit for the advertising attached to this article, the author has no control over either the advertising or the contents of those ads.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • fastfreta profile image

    Alfreta Sailor 

    8 years ago from Southern California

    Yummy, I'm going to try these recipes. Very good.

  • Dao Hoa profile image

    Dao Hoa 

    8 years ago

    I like the Soft Lady Finger cookies and cannot find the recipe. Now, I can try to make them. Thank you.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)