Grandma’s Peppernuts

Our Grandma Childs made these spicy little cookies every Christmas and shared them with all her children. They are different than traditional Peppernuts (or Pfeffernuss) as they do not have any anise or pepper in the recipe. I guess she never liked the traditional flavors and neither did any of her children or grandchildren. We love these poppable sweets just as they are in all their ginger-y, molasses-y goodness!



From the kitchen of Gay Rosenberg Childs


3/4 cups sugar

1 cup dark molasses

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

6 cups flour


Cream sugar, molasses, shortening, and water together. Sift together all dry ingredients and mix until incorporated  and forming a stiff dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours. Roll chilled dough into snakes about 1/2 inch in diameter and cut 1/2 inch slices. Scatter on ungreased baking tray. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes at 350 degrees farenheit. Allow to cool on pan. Store in airtight container  and snack away! Makes about eleventy-billion tiny cookies.

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Sweet and Spicy Gingerbread

I LOVE gingerbread cookies. The smell fills up your house long before the delicious cookies are done and ready to eat. And I find that I like mine to be sturdy but still soft, and have a little bit of kick to them. This recipe has floated around my family for long enough that I don’t know where it came from, but I’ve adjusted it so many times that I feel okay to call it my own.

Bake up some festive goodies and enjoy decorating them with your children.


Gingerbread Cookies

1/2 cup butter, soft

1/4 cup shortening

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons molasses

Combine the above ingredients, mixing thoroughly and set aside.

2 1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or less, if you don’t like it spicy)

Combine dry ingredients then add to the wet mixture above. Mix until it forms into a ball. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let dough rest on the counter for about 10 minutes before rolling out on a floured surface. Roll to 1/4″ thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Place 1/2″ apart on a silicone mat and bake for 12-14 minutes. Let the cookies cool and firm up on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

When cookies are completely cool, decorate with royal icing. I like the recipe for icing with meringue powder found here.

I haven’t tried this recipe for making a gingerbread house but it has been nice and sturdy for large gingerbread men so I’d be interested to know if it works. If you try it out, please share your results!




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