I love a good spice blend and if you want to make an authentic Pfeffernüsse cookie, then there is no better way then to use the traditional Lebkuchengewürz (gingerbread) spice blend.
Lebkuchengewürz (Gingerbread) Spice Blend Recipe
- 5 T ground cinnamon
- 4 tsp. ground cloves or 5 tsp. whole cloves
- 1 tsp ground allspice or 12 whole allspice berries
- 1 tsp ground coriander or 1 1/4 tsp. whole coriander
- 1 tsp ground cardamom or 6 green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground star anise or 1 star anise pod
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
Spoon In the Lebkuchengewürz
In the movie, 100 Foot Journey, Papa accuses the French of being too stingy with their spices. Madame Mallory rolls her eyes because, in her traditional opinion, his Indian cooking is excessive. They eventually come to realize a compromise that melds their two cultures into a new and unique Michelin star taste.
All that to say, I hear Papa in my head all the time when I am adding spices to my food. He says to not add enough spice is to have “meanness of spirit”. Papa continues, “If you have a spice, use it. Don’t sprinkle it. Spoon it in.” I guess Christmastime for me is a time to spoon in all the spices, especially in a spiced gingerbread like cookie.
Enough For All Your Seasonal Gingerbread Needs
This recipe makes 1/2 cup of spice blend, enough for the Christmas Season and all your gingerbread needs. You will only use 4 teaspoons of this spice blend for the Pfeffernüsse cookie recipe. Keep the remaining spice blend labeled in a cool, dark place for future use.
Fresh toasting and grinding your spices from their whole form in a spice grinder gives you more flavor potency and health benefits. Gently heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and roll your (whole) spices around until fragrant, being careful not to burn. This should take about 4 minutes once your skillet is hot. (FYI, I toasted whole cloves, coriander, cardamom pods, and a star anise pod and the rest I used already ground spices.) Cool, then grind. Above are the equivalents of a few of the whole spice-to-ground ratios of some of the more common whole spices.
Blend for Your Pfeffernüsse cookie recipe
Click here for my Pfeffernüsse cookie recipe.