My favorite holiday cookies are German Pfeffernusse. They are rather like a gingerbread, but less gingery and with a glazed sugar coating. I’ve read that the true Pfeffernusse cookie is very hard and is usually dipped in a hot beverage – rather like a biscotti, I would think. But I have grown up on the Americanized version, which is soft and chewy, mildly spiced and delicious. Some like to pair these cookies with egg nog.
Holiday Egg Nog Recipe from The Charmed Seed
(Greened up a little for our purposes)
2/3 cup organic sugar
4 organic, free range eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
8 cups hemp milk (or organic, free range, small dairy cow’s milk)
2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
1-2 oz. local Rum (like St. George Spirits Agua Libre)
fresh ground organic nutmeg to taste
Separate the egg whites and yolks and set whites aside in the refrigerator. Mix the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a large pan until smooth. Add milk to yolk mixture slowly, stirring or whisking constantly. Heat slowly! Once heated, set aside to cool. Make meringue with egg whites and 6 tablespoons of sugar, if desired. Serve with a dollop of meringue and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Pfeffernusse Cookies – original recipe from allrecipes.com
(Also greened up)
- 1/2 cup organic molasses
- 1/4 cup local raised, corn-syrup free (ask!) honey
- 1/2 cup organic butter
- 2 organic, free range eggs
- 4 cups organic all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup organic white sugar
- 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons organic ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon organic ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons organic anise extract
- 2 teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon organic ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup organic confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Stir together the molasses, honey and butter in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the eggs.
- Combine the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, anise, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combines. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Roll the dough into acorn-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.
- Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes. Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar.
While this isn’t a recipe, it is a really lovely quick project that’s so pretty and festive, and so easy to make green, I couldn’t pass it up. Go round up some fallen branches, two if you want it to look like the picture, about 5-6 feet long. These branches look like driftwood to me, so if you’re by the beach or a river, fabo! If not, don’t despair, after this weekend’s storm there should be plenty of fallen branches in your neighborhood, and they’ll do just fine. Use LED lights, available most anywhere they sell Christmas lights: ACE Hardware, Home Depot, Amazon and the like. The original idea is from REMODELISTA.com.