Save on Pinterest

German Christmas Cookies

This little spice cookie tastes very European and is similar to Pfeffernüsse or “peppernut.” We make ours with cozy spices, anise flavoring, almonds and candied citron. —Carole Mueller, Florissant, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    12 dozen


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied citron
  • Confectioners' sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine eggs, butter, lemon peel and extract. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in almonds and citron.
  • Shape into 1/2-in. balls and place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake until set, 8-10 minutes. Roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar; cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 29 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 13mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Gregory
    Dec 18, 2018

    I followed the recipe exactly, and we loved them. In the next batch, though, I think that I will bump up the extract of anise from 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp. But great recipe.

  • jsk68
    Dec 16, 2018

    I really liked this cookie, especially the spices and the fact that the cookie was somewhat soft and chewy long after baking. I could not find citron anywhere in grocery stores. Because I was not sure whether I would like them, I made half a batch, which made about 2 dozen cookies. My modifications were: substituted chopped figs for the citron and chopped walnuts for the almonds. Thought I would not like the anise extract but that flavor was subtle and blended well with spices and other ingredients. Will definitely make again.

  • delowenstein
    Jan 2, 2017

    I got 4 dozen cookies out of this recipe! I admit that I had adjusted the recipe by adding 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and omitted the chopped almonds. There are folks who have an allergy to nuts, so I used 3/4 cup mixture of candied cherries and chopped apricots as I didn't have citron on hand. These cookies went over very well when I took them to events at my retirement community-thank you for sharing! I remembered to buy citron, so I can put that to use in this recipe the next time! delowenstein

  • LPHJKitchen
    Nov 27, 2016

    Sweet, spiced just right and perfect for the holiday! These are some of my new favorite cookies! I loved the spice and anise combo. I didn't get anywhere near 12 dozen cookies but they were still very good!