I'm going to tell you a little Christmas story.
When I was a wee lad, I remember watching a German cartoon. It was about a Queen that couldn't bake pfeffernüsse and her son, the Prince, who was to look for a baker that could bake the best pfeffernüsse in all the land (you know where this is going, don't you?!).
After years of searching, and countless pfeffernüsse later, no suitable baker was found. In those days (for some bizarre reason), only men could be bakers, not women. But this one beautiful woman who lived in a little village not too far away was always told by family & friends how amazing her pfeffernüsse were, and so she thought she'd take a chance: she dressed up like a man, covered her hair up and went to bake pfeffernüsse for the Queen.
Lo and behold, the Queen loved them, the girl let her hair down (literally), everyone was shocked, but by then, the Prince had fallen in love with her. Thanks to her skills in the kitchen, she was allowed to marry the Prince and everyone lived happily ever after.
Ever since watching that cartoon, I took it upon myself to learn how to make the best pfeffernüsse in the land, hoping that someday, just maybe, it'll help me find my prince charming, and we'd be able to live happily ever after.
I found my prince charming.
But he wants Gingerbread Stars instead.
Which I can make too.
So all ends well in this fairy's tale.
Wishing you all a very, very Merry Christmas, filled with health, happiness and lots of love xxx
(If you liked this, you might like my other Christmas cookies).
Pink Peppercorn Pfeffernüsse
(for a printable recipe, click HERE)
5 tbsp milk
50g ground almonds
3 tsp baking powder
Juice of 1/2 an lemon
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground pink pepper
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp cinnamon
For the icing:
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp water
1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line 2- 3 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together by hand until a ball of dough forms. If it's too sticky, sprinkle some more flour. If it's too hard, add some more milk.
3. With your hands, pull a small piece off and form into a small round ball using both hands. Place ball on baking tray and repeat process until you've used up all your dough and have filled your trays with dough balls. Make sure to leave some distance between each ball.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. While the pfeffernüsse are baking, make the icing by mixing the icing sugar with water. You can thin this icing out further by adding more water, but don't add too much, you want a thick icing, nothing too watery.
5. Remove the pfeffernüsse from the oven and allow to cool. Peel them off the baking paper and place on a wire rack. Brush with icing and sprinkle with some ground pink peppercorn.
Tip: The pfeffernüsse are quite hard for the first couple of days (and that's just the way I like them!), but if you prefer them softer, leave them exposed on the wire rack for a few days until they are just right for you, then store them in a tin.