Spiced oats cookies inspired by pfeffernusse

by Sunita on December 11, 2009

We woke up to a very foggy morning today. It was quite cold, but we did not mind. It is nearly the end of December, and we’ve hardly experienced this kind of cold, this year.

We do not get snow in our neck of the woods during this time of the year. But, usually,  the grounds would be covered with frost. The kids ride their bikes over the crisp frozen grass just to hear the sound of the blades of grass crackle under their wheels. The leaves glisten and shimmer with their crystallised look. It is all a part of the nature that we’ve got used to.

But this year has been a different story altogether with hardly any frost. Actually it is a bit worrying, don’t you think, when nature does not behave as it should?

But, cold or not, the festive feeling that can be seen during this time of the year has definitely made it’s appearance all around us. Shops are decorated, houses are being illuminated beautifully and the people are rushing around to get everything associated with the festival, done.

It’s the Christmas fair in Rengoni and Agastya’s school today. I have been busy yesterday, making lots of cupcakes to donate towards it. We’ve handed them in today and they ”can’t wait”  for the fun in the evening. We do not celebrate Christmas at home ( though Santa does pay his visit so that they do not feel left out) but the festive spirit is so contagious, how can they not want to join in!

And talking about Christmas, a couple of weeks ago, it was as if it came early. I returned from the FBC ‘09 loaded with goodies from some of my favourite fellow bloggers. One of them was a pack of pfeffernusse ( translated as pepper nuts), a German spiced cookie. It came from the very talented Mowie.

From the very moment, I took that first bite into one, I knew, I would be making this cookie very soon! The taste was something which I find quite appealing- a dark, soft cookie laden with spices.

And yes, I did make the cookie.

I would rather call this an inspired cookie than a pfeffernusse, just in case a traditionalist comes barging in ;-) . I took the taste of the cookie and worked out a combination for mine, which was very close to the intense taste of the original. From what I’ve heard, at the time when the pfeffernusse finish baking, the cookies are quite hard and they soften gradually. Mine were slightly soft when they came out, hardened a little on cooling and then, on storing, came soft again, just as I wanted them to be.  Mowie’s cookies were coated in icing, while I just rolled mine in icing sugar. They taste nice even without it, but  did I not tell you a short while ago about the contagious nature of the festive spirit?

What’s needed-

1 and 1/4 C of whole wheat flour ( atta)
5-6 tblsp of jumbo oats
2/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5 tblsp of blackstrap molasses (or use 4 tblsp closely packed dark brown sugar mixed with1 tblsp of water )
4 tblsp of sunflower/vegetable oil
1/3 C of milk
icing sugar to roll the baked cookies

How to-

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, cloves and soda.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, molasses, and oil.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the milk mixture. Fold in, preferably with a rubber spatula till everything comes together. Do not over mix.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the mixture for at leats two hours.
  5. Pre heat the oven at 170 deg c and line a baking tray with foil.
  6. Scoop[ out tspn fuls of the mixture and shape into balls (lightly oiled hads will help). The mixture will yield about 26-27 cookies.
  7. Arrange the balls, slight apart from each other on the tray.Very slightly flatten the tips of the balls.
  8. Place the tray in the centre of the pare heated oven and bake for about 22-24 minutes.
  9. Cool the cookies in the tray for about five seconds and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  10. Once cooled, roll the cookies in icing sugar and store in airtght containers.

These cookies are so addictive. I should know as I’ve been reaching for the container all too frequently.

In fact, I enjoyed a couple as I wrote this post! The spices in the cookie tingle the taste buds. Pepper plays an important part in this cookie and takes it to an entirely different level.  I will be making these cookies quite often.

As we have all loved these cookies so much, am sending some over to dear Susan as an addition to her Eat Christmas Cookies event. The ongoing round up can be found here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Asha December 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I love the first few pics of the frost!!! soo beautiful.. and the spice cookies seem just perfect for a frosty day!


2 Sunita December 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Asha; those were last years, and yes, it was beautiful. No such luck till now.


3 Happy Cook December 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

They look beautiful, even if there is no snow there now, the cokies looks like that :-)


4 Sunita December 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Thanks F, we really loved the cookies :-)


5 Peggy December 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm

It hasn’t much seemed “wintery” here either, but you’re right, the festive season is in us all! Love the cookies!


6 Sunita December 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Thanks Peggy :-)


7 susan from food blogga December 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Hi Sunita! Your opening about the weather is so beautifully written and evocative. And your cookies look superb! I hope your holiday season is full of joy!


8 Sunita December 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Thank you Susan. Wishing you the same too :-)


9 Rosa December 11, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Those cookies look delicious!

Yes, it isn’t very wintery at the moment…




10 Sunita December 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Thanks rosa. So, it is the same at your end too?


11 Sarah, Maison Cupcake December 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Hi there, I’d never heard of these before and then I find two people talking about them within the space of 10 minutes. You’re obviously on trend! Lovely wintery pictures too.


12 Sunita December 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Sarah. So did you get some more somewhere else as well? You might, with the Christmas season, as these are made especially during this time . Though I must mention that mine is not the traditional recipe.


13 Mowie @ Mowielicious.com December 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Oh wow Sunita! I just can’t believe that you made pfeffernusse! Well, sort of pfeffernusse =) Brilliant! They look divine by the way. I was going to make them for my blog as part of my Christmas cookie special coming up but I just ran out of time. Oh well, maybe next year. In the meantime, I’ll just have to be happy staring at yours!


14 Deepa G Joshi December 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I love all the snaps here of winter and what to say about the cookies. yum yum.. I am sure the pfeffer will help fight the cold..


15 Margot December 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Very impressive, they look beautiful! And I love the images of frosty branches!! Wish we had some snow here…


16 Nic December 11, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I’ve been meaning to make these for years now, lol! Yours are simply gorgeous Sunita!


17 Hélène December 11, 2009 at 11:48 pm

These looks so yummy. And the picture are delicious.


18 The Curious Baker December 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Hiya Sunita, I’ve kinda just discovered your blog, and I’m not really a cookie person but these look great. I did hear a rumour about pepper in baked goods and now you’ve confirmed it I’ll have to give it a try.

p.s No frost is a good thing, it might look pretty but I can’t say I miss the bite of that english cold! :)


19 Janice December 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I love these kind of cookies. What a great recipe, nice and simple. Definitely one to come back to!


20 Shankari December 13, 2009 at 7:18 am

What an inspiring baker you are! I am sure with every bite of those cookies a little icing sugar snows :)


21 Bethany December 13, 2009 at 8:43 am

these sound so delicious and so simple and easy to make. If I’ve got time I’m going to make some!


22 susan from food blogga December 14, 2009 at 1:51 am

Hi Sunita! I wanted to let you know that I made your date cookies and posted them on Friday. I actually veganized them and added some orange and LOVED them! Thanks for the wonderful idea!


23 nithya praveen December 14, 2009 at 2:59 am

Wow they look gorgeous.I’ve been wanting to bake these for a while now.Great pics as always:)


24 Nirmala December 14, 2009 at 6:43 am

I too made some cookies this weekend basic butter cookies. These look lovely and spicy. Will makr it and try it :) The frost leaves were very festive looking indeed….Nature’s own way of decoration!


25 manju December 14, 2009 at 8:08 am

Wow, yours look better than the commercial cookies by far! The early winter photos were also incredibly lovely. Happy Holidays!


26 Pavithra Kodical December 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Wow very beautiful cookies, compliments the snowfall outside :)


27 Choclette December 20, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I’ve bought something that sounds quite similar to these, so it’s great to find this recipe for them – thank you, they sound great.

Happy Christmas


28 Jeanne @ Cooksister! January 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Mmmm, I can almost taste the spices in those. They look like little squashed snowballs – but far, far tastier ;-)


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