Well, fellow reenactors, we got though Thanksgiving at the fort and it’s a miracle that people’s stomachs didn’t burst. It’s now time to think on Old Christmas. I know what you’re thinking; to whit “The hey, you say”. Thing is, quite a few of the traditional holiday cookies and other delectables like mince would have been made quite a head of time to be really excellent by the time they would have been served.

Back some months ago, I posted a black pepper cookie recipe my great great grandmother passed though the family. Pfeffernusse is the Dutch version and the children traditonally find these in their shoes if they are good.

Makes 5 doz.

Imgredients:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup butter — softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 large egg
powdered sugar

Directions:

Grease cookie sheets; set aside. Place flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, cloves, cardamom and pepper in large bowl; stir to combine.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy scraping down side of bowl once, Beat in molasses and egg. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until dough forms, scraping down side of bowl once. Form dough into a disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350°F

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove cookies with spatula to wire racks; dust with sifted powdered sugar. Cool completely.

Store tightly covered at room temperature . These get better with time and keep for several months.

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