Grandma’s Pepper Nuts (Pfeffernüsse)

“Brought from Mecklenberg, Germany (East Germany) in 1870 by Great, Great, Great, Grandmother Dorothea Stacker.” – Jean Hansen

“Bet you can eat just one! These take awhile to cook up, because they are a very small cookie. Best made in advance so that flavors mellow.” – Calla Ferre

“Probably the oldest recipe in the cookbook (that we can positively date anyway.) In the fifth grade, one of our projects was to bring a traditional dish or dessert from the country of our ancestry. Among the many European countries from which I descend is Germany, so I made these. Don’t be afraid of the lard! Roll the dough into a very thin rope, so that the diameter is somewhere between the size of a nickel and a quarter.” – April Ferre

Grandma’s Pepper Nuts (Pfeffernüsse)

Course: Cookies
Cuisine: German


  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Lard Melted
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Cloves
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Anise Seed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Alum
  • 9 Cups Flour or Amount Need to Handle


  • Boil brown sugar, sugar, lard, butter and water. Cool. When still warm add remaining ingredients. Roll into long thin rolls and chill overnight.
  • Cut into slices and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until set.

1870 Recipe – Dorothea Stacker