Tag Archives: Christmas cookies

Honey Diamonds – A cookie? A small cake?

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Honey DiamondsHoney Diamonds were among my mothers unusual Christmas cookies.  I have no idea why we didn’t have them more often.  But Mom had a great collection of cookies served only at Christmas.  I have never seen most of them anywhere.  I noticed in years passed while blogging that for some reason, I have never shared Holiday recipes ahead of time.  I plan to rectify that this year as you will see them throughout the next few months.

A rare cookie with no shortening, these soft pillows of spiced chocolate are actually more little cakes packed with flavor that only get better when they sit. Its quick preparation is a boon to busy bakers and as a bonus they make the house smell wonderful while baking. Continue reading

Pfeffernusse Cookies

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoI’m not sure why Pfeffernusse cookies are relegated to the Christmas season, but they seem to be.  They come from the German repertoire of cookies and the word pfeffernusse translates to  “pepper nut”.   While everyone seems to agree they have molasses, pepper and spices, just which spices seem to vary.  I have seen recipes with nuts, lemon rind, candied fruit ,a list of spices a mile long, brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses, honey or molasses and honey.  However, this is the Pfeffernusse cookie I remember from the first time I tasted them and fell in love with their spicy, sweet flavor.

These Pfeffernusse cookies are like a fine wine – they need time to develop their flavor.  As such plan ahead to give them at least a week, preferably several.  If eaten when first baked, they are rather uninspiring.  However, left in an airtight tin for a week or several weeks deepens the flavor and melds the spices so they are not so individual and sharp.  The second flavor to all the spices is anise, a favorite German flavoring and one I love.  I have seen recipes without it and if you are not an anise fan, substitute vanilla. Continue reading