Pfeffernusse Cookies

This is a traditional German Christmas cookie which features molasses and honey with a variety of spices.  For me personally it just isn't Christmas without them.  I eagerly wait for them to come into the store this time of year.  I have never made them before and decided this was the year for me to make my own.  It is a little more time consuming with the chilling of the dough and rolling of the dough into acorn size balls but definitely worth it.  This recipe makes a lot and when I say that I mean over 100 so if you don't want that many cut the recipe in half.  I also deviated from the recipe and used butter instead of margarine and also rolled the cooled cookies into the powdered sugar instead of just dusting them.  This cookie is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Yum all the way says me and my German heritage.  This recipe is from Allrecipes.

Pfeffernusse Cookies

1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup margarine (I used butter)
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons anise extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for rolling in or dusting of cookies after they are baked.

Stir together the molasses, honey, shortening and butter in a saucepan over medium heat;  cook and stir until creamy.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Whisk in the eggs and anise extract.

Combine the flour, sugars, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a large bowl or mixer bowl.  Add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture and thoroughly combine. 

Cover with handi wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Roll the dough into acorn-sized balls.  Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.

Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes.  Move to a rack to cool.  Roll in powdered sugar.