Yesterday I flew three thousand miles.
As I type this post it’s half past midnight on the east coast and Mikan, my parent’s puggle, is snoring loudly right next to me. Yesterday morning started a little rocky (me, realizing on the BART halfway to the airport that I had the car keys in my purse while Adam was walking to the parking garage to get the car. oops) but as I landed in Savannah around ten thirty last night and flew into my dad’s waiting arms it felt like all the right in the world.
It’s always good to come home. And this year for the first time, Adam and I are trying to combine Christmases by him flying to Georgia in a few days to spend Christmas Eve with my family and then us flying Christmas morning to Texas to spend Christmas Day with his family. I’ll let you know how that one goes. I think we realized that each of us were spending a total of twenty seven hours on airplanes this month? Crazy.
But back to these cookies! They don’t look like your average pfeffernuesse! And for those of you that don’t know, pfeffernusse rhymes with beetlejuice. I just learned that last week! Let’s say it all together three times fast. Ready…set…GO!
Here are the pfeffernussey cast of characters. As a die-hard licorice fan, I ADORE the addition of anise extract in these cookies! It truly is a wonderful thing.
And you know what else is a wonderful thing? Sandwiching these hearty spicy cookies together the creamy vanilla ice cream. Oh.yes.
There’s a thousand different variations of pfeffernusse out there and like I said, these really aren’t the most traditional variation (most traditional German pfeffernusse is made with molasses and honey and either doused with powdered sugar or glazed with a simple powered sugar glaze). But you know? I think I like them the best! They’re loaded with spice and nuts and still manage to stay slightly soft and chewy on the inside—perfect vehicles for ice cream, if you ask me.
Pfeffernusse Ice Cream Sandwiches
makes about 8 large sandwich cookies
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp anise extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup sliced almonds
cinnamon or vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together the melted butter, sugar, eggs and anise extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, white pepper and lemon zest. Add dry ingredients to wet and fold in chopped nuts.
Roll heaping tablespoons (more like golf ball sized!) of dough on lined baking sheets and press down gently on each ball to flatten out a little bit. Bake cookies for 15 minutes until golden.
Let cookies cool completely before sandwiching together with ice cream! These can be made ahead and stored in the freezer for late night cravings. And trust me, you will have late night cravings. These things are delicious!