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December 23rd is National Pfeffernuesse Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then I hope you speak German because it's National Pfeffernuesse Day!  Otherwise you won't know what the heck that is, right?  Well, let's get right into celebrating National Pfeffernuesse Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Well, it could be a holiday because people love trying to get others to pronounce pfeffernuesse, but that's not the real reason. No, it's because this is the cookie baking season and yes, that wonderful word is used to describe some lovely, Dutch cookies. And the flavor is actually as unique as the name, but it's not that common of a cookie. Given that fact, and add in the fact that they're pretty delicious, you have a reason for such a holiday to be created. Without a holiday, not as many people would try them and they'd miss out on the deliciousness.  And can you guess what pfeffernuesse translates into, in English? Pepper nuts! Why? Because some recipes call for black pepper, or just have a lot of spices, and others even include nuts. Makes sense, right? And these were originally baked for the feast of Saint Nicholas' eve, when children would receive gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

But these cookies are small, round and usually pretty firm. It's said that they soften up over time, but when I ate them they were still soft, and still a little warm too. ;) But if they are solid when you go to bite into them, then just dunk them babies in a drink! But what's in them? Sometimes there are ground nuts, white or black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, anise or ginger. And they will often be covered in powdered sugar, once you take them out of the oven.  Trust me; they aren't too shabby!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So, how can you celebrate today?  Well, let's start out with something easy... why don't you take some time and learn how to pronounce pfeffernuesse? And once you learn how to say it, then go try to get someone else to say it correctly. Once they have that down, then have them guess what it is. If they get it correct, then hand them one of these lovely cookies! Oh, you don't have any?

Well, then why don't you head to store first, and see if you can locate some of these mysterious cookies? You should be able to find some, around this time of year, and you might even find some freshly baked ones. But if you come up empty handed, then you're going to want to pick up some baking supplies? Geez, do you know what that means?  You're actually going to want to start out today by looking up a recipe for these cookies, just in case you can't find any ready-made pfeffernuesse cookies. I'm all over the place today, huh? But if you do decide to make these cookies, then try to get a recipe that is as authentic as possible. And you can take that however you want to... it could be an age-old, traditional recipe or it could be a recipe that includes both pepper and nuts.   Have a great day and enjoy these odd little cookies!





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