Showing posts with label cookie recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookie recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler Pfeffernüsse from Cleo Coyle

Like any recipe that's been around for several hundred years, there are countless variations of the German cookie pfeffernüsse (aka "pepper nuts"), and I've made several. Some bakers, for example, put finely chopped nuts into their "pepper nuts. Some don't. 
Cleo Coyle, baker of
a kinder, gentler
pfeffernüsse, and author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Some bakers like to add a potent amount of black or white pepper into the cookie, giving them very peppery bite. Some add ground cloves. 

The version I'm sharing with you today is my favorite way to make it: soft on the inside but with a light crispness on the outside shell. No nuts to take away from the contrast of spicy, delicious gingerbread flavor with the sweet dusting of powdered sugar.

My version also takes a kinder, gentler approach to the spice aspect, using only a pinch of pepper and leaning more heavily on the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. (Allspice, I find, delivers that ground clove flavor at a much lower price.)

BTW: I've encountered people who are under the impression that allspice is a spice mix (like pumpkin pie spice). Not so. Allspice is actually a pea-sized berry that mimics the flavors of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The berry comes from the evergreen pimiento tree, grown in South America and the West Indies, including Jamaica.

Cleo Coyle's Pfeffernüsse "Pepper Nuts"
German gingerbread snowball cookies

To get a free PDF version of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, just click here.


3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 pinches of ground white (or black) pepper 
¾ cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), softened
½ cup white, granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses, unsulphered (not blackstrap!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups powdered (confectioners' or icing) sugar (for double-dusting)

Yields: 4 to 5 dozen cookies, depending on size

Mix the dough: Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices. Set aside. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in egg, molasses, and vanilla. Now gradually add in the dry flour mixture, blending just until the dough comes together. (Do not overwork this dough or you’ll produce gluten in the flour, which will toughen your cookies.)

Chill the dough: Form dough into a disc or ball. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest in refrigerator for two hours or overnight. (The resting allows the dough to hydrate and the flavors to develop for better tasting cookies.)

Bake the cookies: When ready to bake, break off small pieces of dough and roll into balls. I make mine a little less than 1-inch in diameter. If you prefer a softer cookie, roll balls larger. Bake 12 to 16 minutes, depending on oven and whether you’re using parchment or a silicon sheet. You’re looking for the cookies to bake up a nice, golden brown and crack slightly on the surface. For softer cookies, underbake them.

Cleo’s double dusting: While the cookies are still very warm, roll them in powdered sugar. The heat of each cookie will melt the sugar into a lovely, light crust of glaze. After the cookies have cooled a bit more, roll them a second time and you’ll have your final snowball dusting. These are the perfect treat to leave for Santa on a snowy Christmas Eve.

Storage tips: Make sure your cookies are completely cool before storing in an airtight container. When cookies are stored warm, condensation can occur, turning your treats soggy. Of course, you can always serve them warm and...

Eat with Joy to the World!

Merry Christmas,
  ~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, 
find out more about my books,
or sign up to win free coffee,
my *virtual* coffeehouse at...


Holiday Grind: 
A Coffeehouse Mystery,
a Top-9 national mystery
bestseller in hardcover
is now a Publishers
in paperback!

by Cleo Coyle

“Fun and gripping…”
 —The Huffington Post 

“Some of the most vibrant characters I've ever read. Coyle also is a master of misdirection and red herrings. I challenge any reader to figure out whodunit before Coyle reveals all.”
Mystery Scene

Just Released!

Congrats to Krista Davis
on the publication

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Nut Cookies!

The winner of week three of the Christmas Cookie Contest is Joy Isley for her Pumpkin Nut Cookies!

First, a few updates about the contest. Please keep sending recipes! There's an ingredient that hasn't shown up yet. I'm quite surprised. Hints: writers eat this a lot; it's mentioned in today's recipe; and Lynn in Texas guessed it correctly last week.

I had company over Thanksgiving and they asked where the ?? cookies were. Another famous Christmas cookie that hasn't shown up among the recipes submitted.

So, please keep submitting. Send your recipes to Krista at KristaDavis dot com. And if you haven't won yet, don't despair. All previously submitted recipes are still in the running.

Dave's lacy pecan cookies didn't last long enough to tell you how well they keep. However, I popped the Raggedy Anne cookies into a freezer bag and froze them last week. Not only were they wonderful when served over Thanksgiving, one of my guests said they're just as good straight from the freezer!

And now to this week's winner. Here's Joy's recipe ~


For as long as I can remember, my family has always baked these cookies for the holidays.

1/4 C sugar
1/2 C shortening
1 egg beaten
1/2 C pumpkin (canned pumpkin)
1 C all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
a pinch of ginger
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C nuts, chopped

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and pumpkin and mix well.

In another bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into moist mixture. When blended, add raisins and nuts

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

I have substituted the raisins for a few chocolate chips or candied fruits. I have also put a fine powdered sugar glaze on them and added lemon zest on top.

Krista's take ~

This is a nice easy drop cookie recipe. On our scale of one to three, I'd have to put it at a one. Another Nina Reid Norwood cookie that's easy to make. The dough beats nicely to a thick consistency.

The recipe says to drop by teaspoons. I tried patting them down a little to make them more uniform, but gave up. The dough is sticky and the nuts and raisins just give them unique shapes.

The afternoon sun peeked in to give the baked cookies a golden glow. They're actually sort of pumpkin colored.

Joy mentioned making a sugar glaze for them. I mixed 1/3 cup powdered sugar with 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice and drizzled it over them. While the glaze was still wet, I sprinkled them with a few sugar sprinkles (just sugar in bigger chunks).

These cookies are soft when you bite into them, a nice switch from crunchy textures. In addition, the cookies are not overly sweet. If you have a family member or friend whose first comment is always "oh, it's too sweet!" then this is the cookie for her!

Congratulations, Joy!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Welcome, Lori Wilde!

Please welcome my
friend, the superbly
talented and prolific
author Lori Wilde.
I have known Lori for
years and she is not only
a fabulous writer, but
she is also incredibly
generous with her
knowledge of the writing
craft, the business
and even her nursing background.

And today, she is sharing a recipe! Thanks, Lori!

I just discovered a delicious new white chocolate chip cookie recipe.


1¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

14 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1¼ cups white chocolate chips

Directions Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheets with
parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk flour and baking
soda together. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a skillet over
medium-high heat until melted. Cook, stirring constantly
until the butter is dark golden brown. Pour butter into a large
bowl; add remaining butter. Stir until melted. Add sugars, salt
and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Stir in eggs.
Set aside for 3 minutes. Then stir for 30 seconds.
Repeat stirring and resting process 2 more times until the
mixture is thick and shiny. Stir in the flour mixture followed
by chocolate chips. Drop dough onto baking sheets
(3 tablespoons per cookie). Bake 10 to 14 minutes until the
cookie edges are golden brown and the centers are soft.
Cool on wire rack.

A little bit about Lori: Lori Wilde has sold fifty-two novels for
four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelors degree
in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensics.
She volunteers as a sexual assault first responder for Freedom House,
a shelter for battered women.
She has also served as the RWA National conference workshop chair and
PAN retreat chair. She is an instructor for a company who provides
online community education to over 1500 colleges and universities.
Lori is a past RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for
Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado
Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Lories,
The More Than Maggie, the Golden Quill and The BestBooks of 2006
Book Award.
Her books have been translated into 22 languages and excerpted in
Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, All You and Quick and
Simple magazines. She’s appeared numerous times on the Waldenbook’s
bestseller list, The Barnes and Noble bestseller list, Bookscan Top 40
and Ingram’s Top 50. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.

Lori will be teaching a class on High Concept starting
Feb 1 at

Thanks for joining us today, Lori! I just finished reading the
Sweatheart's Knitting Club, and I loved it. It felt like Jesse
and Flynn were long lost family. It was a delight.

For more information about Lori, check out her website:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rainy Day Yummies: Scandinavian Almond Cookies

There is nothing like a cup of cocoa and a
yummy plate of cookies on a cold winter's
day. We don't get many of those in central
Arizona, so today when I woke up and it
was gray and rainy and hovering in the
high 50's/low 60's, I knew it was cookie
baking time!

The cookie of choice? My mother's Scandinavian almond
cookies. It's a recipe she gave me almost 20 years ago
and it never fails to win over new fans and bring the old
ones coming back for more.

Scandinavian Almond Cookies

1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/s teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Stir together flour, baking poweder, and salt. In a large mixer
bowl beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat till fluffy.
Add egg and almond extract and beat well. Add flour mixture
and beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into fourths. Form each into a 12 inch roll. Place
two rolls 4 to 5 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Flatten till 3 inches wide. Repeat with remaining rolls.

Brush flattened rolls with milk and sprinkle with with almonds.
(I am a BIG almond lover. In my book SPRINKLE WITH
MURDER my favorite cupcake is an almond flavored cake with
almond buttercream called the blonde bombshell, but I digress.)
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until edges are
lightly browned. While cookies are still warm, cut them
crosswise at a diagonal into 1 inch strips. Cool and drizzle with
almond icing. Makes 48.

Almond Icing

Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract,
and 3-4 teaspoons of milk (enough to make the icing of drizzling

Jenn McKinlay
March 2010
(Available for pre-order now)

aka Lucy Lawrence
Sept 2009 (Available now)

April 2010
(Available for pre-order now)

Keep sending in suggestions for our next Iron Chef ingredient week, there are
prizes to be had. So be creative!