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Nutmeg Cakes (pfeffernuesse) Recipe

History of Nutmeg Cakes (Pfeffernuesse):

Nutmeg Cakes, also known as Pfeffernuesse, are a traditional German holiday treat. These small, spiced cookies are usually enjoyed during the Christmas season. The origins of this recipe can be traced back to the Middle Ages when nutmeg was highly prized and considered a luxury spice. Nutmeg was believed to have medicinal properties and was often used to treat various ailments.

Fun Facts about Nutmeg Cakes:

1. The name "Pfeffernuesse" translates to "pepper nuts" in German, referring to the small size and spiced flavor of these cookies.

2. In Germany, Pfeffernuesse are often enjoyed with a cup of warm mulled wine called Gluhwein during Christmas markets.

3. The traditional recipe for Pfeffernuesse includes ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, and sometimes citrus peel or anise seed oil.

4. Pfeffernuesse are typically rolled into small balls and baked until they have a slightly crispy exterior and a soft, chewy interior.

Now, let's proceed with the recipe for Nutmeg Cakes (Pfeffernuesse):

Ingredients:
- 1 pound of flour
- 1 pound of pulverized sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 piece of citron, grated or chopped very fine
- Peel of 1 lemon
- 1 whole nutmeg, grated
- 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
- 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
- Butter or flour for hands
- Waxed or buttered tins

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature for baking cookies.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and pulverized sugar.

3. Add the eggs, grated or chopped citron, lemon peel, grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and allspice to the bowl. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

4. Sift the baking powder into the bowl with the flour mixture and combine well.

5. Prepare your hands by either buttering or flouring them to prevent sticking.

6. Take a small amount of dough, about the size of a hickory nut, and roll it into a ball using your hands.

7. Place the dough balls on waxed or buttered tins, ensuring they are about an inch apart to allow for spreading.

8. Bake the Nutmeg Cakes in the preheated oven until they are golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside. The exact baking time may vary, so keep a close eye on them.

9. Once baked, remove the tins from the oven and allow the Nutmeg Cakes to cool before storing them in an airtight container.

10. Enjoy your homemade Nutmeg Cakes (Pfeffernuesse) with family and friends during the festive holiday season!

Similar Recipe Dishes:

1. Anise Seed Cookies (Springele): These cookies share some similarities with Nutmeg Cakes. They also incorporate anise seed oil for a unique flavor and are made from ingredients such as eggs, sugar, and flour. However, Anise Seed Cookies are typically dropped onto well-buttered pans and baked in a moderate oven.

2. Gingerbread Cookies: Gingerbread cookies are another popular holiday treat that shares the festive spirit with Nutmeg Cakes. They are made with ginger, molasses, sugar, and other spices. Gingerbread cookies can be cut into various shapes and decorated with icing for added flair.

3. Speculaas: Speculaas are Dutch spiced cookies that are similar to Nutmeg Cakes. They are made with a blend of spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom. Traditionally, Speculaas cookies are imprinted with intricate designs using a wooden mold.

These delicious and aromatic holiday treats are sure to delight everyone. Whether you choose to bake Nutmeg Cakes (Pfeffernuesse) or explore similar recipes, it's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the joy of baking and indulge in the flavors of the season. Enjoy!

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