Chocolate Chip Peppernuts

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A Cookie A Day Until Christmas

When I first married my husband, I experienced some rather unique family favorite recipes, one of which being peppernuts. What are peppernuts? Peppernuts are small little cookies, about the size of your thumbnail that are totally addicting!

Peppernuts derive from a German heritage and supposedly came to America sometime in the mid-to-late 1800s. Seeing that my husband’s family is mostly Mennonite Brethren, you can easily see where the connection might lie. Traditionally, these little cookies are served during Christian time. Some recipes (although not this one) call for small amounts of ground black pepper in addition to some form of nut, thus the name Pepper-nuts.

Today there are many peppernut recipes scouring the web, but the version below is my mother-in-law’s favorite. Every year my family and I can almost always be guaranteed at least one taste of these scrumptious treats. Last year, we even made several batches ourselves to share with neighbors. Talk about conversation piece–I don’t think they lasted the length of our neighborly visit! All that to say, if you are looking for a new family recipe tradition this may just fit the bill…or your tummy. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Peppernuts

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. white sugar

1/2 c. shortening

2 c. flour

1/2 c. flour

1 c. chocolate chips

1 c. shredded coconut

1 c. chopped walnuts

1 c. chopped gumdrops

2 eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. vanilla

4 tbsp. buttermilk

Cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat. Sift together 2 cups flour, salt, and soda. Add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. In a separate bowl mix gumdrops with 1/2 cup remaining flour to keep gumdrops from sticking together in the batter. Next, stir in nuts, gumdrops, and coconut. Chill. On floured board, roll into long slim ropes. Freeze. Cut ropes into small pieces. Bake on cookie sheet at 375 degrees, 5-7 minutes.

This post is a part of the series A Cookie A Day Until Christmas.

A Cookie a Day Until Christmas


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Kathy is a Christian, wife, home school mom, and musician who enjoys blogging, reading, and playing the piano. You can read all about Kathy and her pursuits as a developing domestic diva drawing on the divine at Cornerstone Confessions, or feel free to scout her out on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or Pinterest.


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  1. I’m so glad to find this recipe – I just recently had a conversation with a neighbor about peppernuts and have been searching for it. I’ll be trying this one! Merry Christmas!

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