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Swiss Pepperballs

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No need to be nuts about pepper to enjoy these amazing pepper-flavored gingerbreads. Hugely popular in my parts of the Alps!

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Here are some of the most popular cookies in the Swiss-German-speaking part of Switzerland - gingerbread balls flavored with white pepper - a real treat.

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Pfäffernüss [pfay fair nuss] Peppernuts
250 grams / 0.5 lbs sugar
2 large eggs
30 grams / 1 oz candied orange
75 grams / 2 oz ground almonds
1 tsp cinammon
1 pinch ground clove
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch white pepper
1 pinch baking powder
250gr / 0.5 lb flour
100gr / 3 oz confectioner's sugar
A few drops lemon juice Some people include cardamom powder, candied lemon and walnuts as well.

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I bought candied orange from G. Detout in Paris, but you can find them in many confectionery shops across the world.

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Slice lengthwise witha sharp knife ...

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... then crosswise.

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Combine the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl...

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... then whisk until fluffy and thoroughly mixed.

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When the sugar-egg alliance starts turning white, add the ground almonds...

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... then the candied orange.

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Grind the spices to a fine powder...

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... and add them to the dough.

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Use a whisk ...

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to mix the ingredients.

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Add the flour.

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Then the baking powder. Don't you like this picture?

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Combine everything using a paddle ...

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... until you get a smooth dough.

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Wet the palms of both of your hands. Take a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll it in between both palms until you get a smooth sphere. I apologize but I did not manage to do this with my camera - you'll just have to figure out the movement on your own!

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Lay the balls on a piece of baking paper. Space them well as the balls will grow as they bake. Bake for 15 minutes at 220°C / 450°F

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Let's prepare the glazing. Place the confectioner's sugar in a bowl, then let a little lemon juice fall on it drop by drop.

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Drip, drip, the mighty power of the liquid soon turns the white mountain into a swamp. Mix with a brush.

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Remove the cookies from the oven - they have grown so much, I almost did not recognize them!

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Place the glazing bowl on the cookie tray ...

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... and start painting each cookie with the glazing, covering every side. Nothing like a good sugarcoating to make some people swallow a pepper cookie.

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Serve on a plate with no warning notice ...

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... or pile them in peppercorns so that people are aware of the contents.

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Delicious!


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12 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by Jason
I'm all over this recipe. Cookies for the fam and friends this weekend!! Thanks FX.
Hey I love pfeffernusse, but think of it as a Christmas cookie. Is that not true for the Swiss?
  • #3
  • Comment by Rick
I could make these on the boat. When I get to the galley tonight I'll see if we have some sort of candied fruit. Sugar and pepper, a combination that excites me!
  • #4
  • Answered by fx
Jason, thanks for visiting and if you try this recipe don't hesitate to add other gingerbread spices to the mix along with the pepper. Good luck!
  • #5
  • Answered by fx
Callipygia, it is Christmas every day of the year at FXcuisine.com!
  • #6
  • Answered by fx
Rick, good luck if you try these cookies, they are great fun and should be very comforting with a cup of your hot Mexican chocolate! I'm still working on the boat articles, it should come soon!
  • #7
  • Comment by Bart
My question is actually langauge-related.  Seeing as how you are a polyglot English-speaking Swiss, I thought you might help.  Does the German letter ü sound like the French letter u?
  • #8
  • Answered by fx
Bart, yes indeed, German ü sounds exactly like French u.
Ooh, I love pepper in sweet baked goods.  Bookmarking this recipe for sure.
  • #10
  • Answered by fx
Lauren, thanks for visiting! Do you know other pepper cookies?
  • #11
  • Comment by sara
Dear Francois-Xavier,

What do you think this recipe would taste like if I used green peppercorns, pink, or just the normal black?

Thank you for the your wonderful food blog-- I get hungry every time, even if I've just eaten!
  • FX's answer→ Sara, you need to use white peppercorns. Green would really not work for this - I think. Good luck!


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