So, I was left on my own to experiment with various recipes..and experiment I did. I baked three different recipes, one cookie came out flat as a pancake! The others? Well, let's just say I wouldn't make them again and leave it at that. ( And with all the trials and errors I just gave up on step by step photos).
But this recipe came out great. I made a few adjustments, added a few more spices, more black pepper and baked the first batch just to test it.
Then I actually put the dough, covered, in the fridge and left it there a few days..(well kind of forgot about it actually while I moved on to other cookie recipes). So today I realized I had better make the rest of these pfeffernusse to show you. I think the rest in the fridge really may have helped intensify the spice flavor. The cookies did come out more cake-like than hard. The combination of warm spices with just enough sweetness in the cookie as well as the confectioners' sugar coating makes it one good cookie!
I let the dough sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes til it softened slightly, then I formed small balls and put them on the ungreased baking sheet about 1" apart.
After they're baked, let them cool enough to handle, then roll them in confectioners' sugar to coat well.
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
generous 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter ( 1 stick), room temp.
3/4 cup brown sugar ( I used light brown)
1/4 cup molasses
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and molasses til light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
3. Beat in the egg til well incorporated, scraping bottom and sides of bowl.
4. With mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture.
5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and place in the fridge for several hours (or a few days).
6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
7. Let the dough come up to room temp. while the oven's preheating, then form dough into small balls, about 1 1/4" in size.
8. Place on baking sheet, spacing about 1" apart ( they don't spread but they do get a little bigger when baked).
9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be slightly brown on the bottom.
10. Cool a minute on the sheet, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool a little more, then dust liberally with confectioners' sugar.
Store cookies in a cookie tin.