As I am getting older, I am understanding more the whole issue about Christmas – and holidays in general – being about materialism and less about sharing cultural and familial traditions. If you’re anything like me, you find yourself doing some last minute shopping online, hunting around for coupons and wondering what on earth this or that someone would want to receive – and winding up rather irritated by the whole thing. I admit that I did it this year, but I am already thinking that next year will be different. With a little planning and personal ingenuity, I’ll make Christmas more satisfying for everyone.
I confess that I nearly did that this year, but when confronted with five dozen of your favorite cookies, it’s actually rather hard to share. Yes. I have eaten nearly five dozen cookies by myself (and now I seriously need to exercise).
Vegan Pfeffernuesse Cookies
I veganized this Pfeffernusse Cookies recipe from AllRecipes.com
Makes about 5 dozen cookies
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter or margarine
- Egg replacer for 2 eggs (If using flax, you can mix 2 tablespoons ground flax seed with 6 tablespoons of hot water)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons anise extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground black or white pepper (I used white)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Stir together the molasses, honey, shortening, and margarine in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until ingredients are well incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the anise extract, as well as the prepared egg replacer (confession – I forgot to do the egg replacer at this point, but adding it later is okay).
This recipe is all about the spices, so get together all your powdered spices and measure them out separately if you have a tendency to forget what you just added last (raises hand).
Combine the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a large bowl.
Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combines. You may have to mix together with your hands to make sure it is very well mixed. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the dough into acorn-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes.
Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar.
I don’t know what possessed me to make so many cookies, especially when this was experimental for me (this is the first time I’ve made vegan pfeffernuesse cookies – and they were based upon a recipe with honey and eggs), but I really truly lucked out big time. These are AMAZING! If you have never had pfeffernuesse cookies, they are spicy, which can add a little heat, and sweet to take the edge off, but surprisingly, not too sweet (if you counted, you’ll know there are five sugars in this recipe). When you bite into them, they are a little harder on the outside and completely chewy on the inside.
I let my husband try part of one and he thought they were awful, so these are obviously not for everyone. (That’s actually one reason I didn’t ship these off – I had visions of cookies going into trashcans. I just had to be the cookie advocate and put them on my thighs instead.)
But if you love pfeffernuesse like I do, and know people in your life who would be up for a tin of these little goodies, they are the perfect solution for your gift-giving dilemma during the holidays. Just remember to wrap them well, and ship them within a day or two of baking them so they are less likely to arrive stale.