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Peppernuts Recipe {Pfeffernüsse/Päpanät}

Growing up in Southern Manitoba I can not remember a Christmas without peppernuts , sometimes known by the name Pfeffernüsse or päpanät as I knew them.

What are peppernuts? They are small, round, spiced cookies that are absolutely delicious!


Here is the recipe that I make, it looks like it makes a lot, but let me warn you, those little cookies are addicting. I have not met someone who can pass by without grabbing a handful.

I like to make them so that they are a little bit soft and a little bit crispy – they can be baked shorter or longer according to how you like them. Many people add star anise to their recipe, but our family loves this combination of spices.

Some people omit the black pepper, but I think it is a must for this traditional recipe!



Peppernuts Recipe {Pfeffernüsse/Päpanät}

Peppernuts also called Pfeffernüsse or päpanät are small, spiced cookies which are a common treat in Mennonite homes during the Christmas season.


  • 1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (with 1 tsp vinegar and 2 tsp baking soda added)
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or white pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 1/4 cups flour


  1. Cream together the butter and brown sugar with a mixer. Add eggs and continue beating. Slowly add the corn syrup and the milk mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together remaining ingredients (dry). Then add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until a dough ball is formed. Put dough mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. (Works best if you can leave the dough in the fridge overnight or even up to 2 days)
  3. Roll dough into long snake like rolls till they are between the width of dime and a nickle. I do this on parchment paper to make it easy to transfer the rolls onto a greased cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer till firm. Then slice the rolls in about 1 cm pieces and place flat on pans. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.

Shannon Burns

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Help! The dough is super sticky, even after leaving it overnight in the refrigerator - Yes, I am in the middle of rolling the dough into to "snakes", on parchment paper, but it is so sticky I can't actually call it rolling. The butter was very soft when I creamed it with the brown sugar, and then when I added the eggs, one at a time, the mixture never did emulsify. I mention this as I don't know if that is normal, or if it is an indicator if problems to come. Chances are slim that you will read this in time to help me with this batch, but I look forward to your feedback so that I might try again in the future. In the meantime, I will persevere.


Monday 26th of November 2018

Thanks for this recipe. I'm not a fan of rolling out the dough so I used my hubby's jerky gun! It worked perfect. :) #modernmennonite


Saturday 13th of November 2021

I wonder if a sausage stuffer would work too... Hmm

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Wednesday 28th of November 2018

That's such a great idea. Thanks for sharing!!!


Friday 21st of October 2016

First class recipe. Mine but I add a cup and a half fine chop almonds, pecans and filbert Nuts to this and I do a roll in the Powdered Icing sugar. They taste yummy and they look pretty in the glass jars I give away at Christmas. I have me no one in all my 67 years that has made these cookies until I discovered the internet. My family has always loved these Christmas specials.

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Friday 21st of October 2016

Your version sounds absolutely delicious too. They really are yummy.

Joe Bergmann

Monday 4th of January 2016

I also had trouble with the proportions; the dough was way too sticky and I had to add 1 and 1/2 cups of flour at least, and they turned out really doughy, and still did not get hard like I expected even though I cooked them an extra few minutes. Any ideas on changing things?

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Monday 4th of January 2016

Hi Joe, I am sorry to hear that you had trouble - the dough is VERY sticky. I used the parchment paper (another reader suggested to cover and leave in fridge for a couple of days which I think is great - or pop in the freezer for a few hours)... I make mine very small, maybe if yours were bigger they could have baked longer...

Brian b

Sunday 6th of September 2015

Hi jodi i make papanats also. I do a few things differently. I exchange some of the ingredients. I also cover and leave in fridge for a couple of days. I also use a pastry dough kneader to cut the dough.

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