These cookies were made by ”Mutter”, Grandpa Stuewe’s mother, every Christmas. When she passed away, Grandma Stuewe would make them and mail them to each family. There is a hot family debate on the proper softness of these cookies. Freshly made, they are a firm spice cookie with a soft center. However, SOME prefer them rock hard – as in “you should be able to break a window when thrown” hard.
This family recipe was recovered from Aunt Phyllis who makes over 200 of these cookies each Christmas for her family. She and her daughter, Denise, get together for a weekend of wine, baking, and lots of “catching up”. If you can ever make it to her farm house in Ellensburg for this event, bring an extra cookie sheet and some Ziplock bags, cuz you ain’t leaving home without a bag of Pfeffernuesse and their wonderful sugar cookies.
Makes 100 cookies
Preheat oven to 375º
2 cups molasses
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups shortening, melted
2 eggs, 2-3 grated lemon rinds
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup of wine any kind, flour to stiffen at least 11 cups.
Combine all ingredients until smooth– this makes a VERY STIFF batter. Roll into 11/2 teaspoon balls and place tight against each other on baking sheet (these cookies do not spread).
Bake for 20 minutes. Store in air-tight container to keep soft, or store in paper bag to dry. Cookies will harden and are intended to be dunked to soften.