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Pfeffernuesse (German Peppernuts)

Author/Submitted by: Womans Day/December 18, 1979 copyright 1979 by Rawson, Wade Publishers, Inc., From Christmas Cookies and Candies by Barbara Myers.
Servings: 90
Categories: Cookies / Desserts / Nuts

Ingredients:
3 1/2  cups  Flour
2  teaspoons  Cinnamon
1  teaspoon  Baking powder
1/2  teaspoon  Nutmeg
1/2  teaspoon  Allspice
1/2  teaspoon  Cloves
1/4  teaspoon  Salt
1/4  teaspoon  Pepper
1/4  teaspoon  Mace
4  each  Eggs
2  cups  Sugar
    Grated peel of 1 lemon
1/2  cup  Candied citron, fine chopped
1/2  cup  Unblanched almonds, ground
3  tablespoons  Brandy

Directions:
1. Stir together flour, cinnamon, basking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, pepper and mace; set aside. In a large bowl beat eggs at medium speed of mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating 15 minutes longer or until thick and fluffy. Add flour mixture in thirds, adding lemon peel, citron, and almonds to last third and blending thoroughly after each addition. Turn half the dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut with 1-inch round cutter (inside of doughnut cutter works well) and place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets.

2. Reroll scraps. Let stand uncovered at room temperature overnight. When ready to bake, turn cookies over so moist side is up; put drop of brandy in center of each. Bake in preheated 300 degree F. oven 20 minutes or until cookies "pop" and are baked through. (Break one in half; if not sticky, it's done.) Remove to racks to cool.

Cookies improve with age. Store in tightly covered container. Add a piece of apple to container a few days before serving to soften them. A drop of brandy on the top before baking causes them to "pop," giving them a characteristic topknot.


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