These are a Christmas tradition in our house, one I grew up with and anticipated every year (and even now) practically drooling over.
My Grandma would bake and store canisters full; My sisters and I thought we were being SO sneaky, heading casually off to the pantry when we thought she wasn't looking. I'm sure the powder-sugar trail gave us away every time. She just smiled and baked more...
I only "veganized" these a couple years ago and while I feel I got the recipe pretty spot-on, would love feedback if anyone makes them.
The anise mellows and the cookies soften and the flavors blend wonderfully if you keep these a good week or so before eating them.
4 c. flour
1/2 c. Earth Balance
1/2 tsp. instant coffee powder or crystals
1 c. molasses
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. anise extract (Get a good quality extract or 5 drops anise oil if you can find it - that's what my Grandma used)
1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer and 2 Tbsp ground flax, dissolved in 4 Tbsp. soy milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix shortening and flour together. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, the batter will be very thick.
Roll into small balls, about an inch in diameter. Put on a lightly greased tray; they don't expand much so you can fit a lot on there.
Let stand overnight without disturbing.
The next morning, bake for 10-12 minutes.
While still hot (as hot as you can handle), roll the pfeffernüsse in powdered sugar, then allow to cool. Once cooled, roll them again.