When I recently reviewed ASDA's Lebkuchen stars, the lovely Hannah (The Review Addict) asked me about their similarity to Pfeffernüsse. In all honesty, I'd never even heard of Pfeffernüsse, so I went in search of the German treats so I could taste them and find out. Pfeffernüsse literally means 'Pepper nuts' which I gathered must be similar to our traditional term 'Gingernuts' as they don't contain nuts (although they do contain ginger!) Pfeffernüsse have apparently been part of European Yuletide celebrations since the 1850's (thanks wikipedia!)
I tracked them down at Waitrose, where I purchased the 250g bag for £1.
When tipping out some of the perfect little iced white domes I was welcomed with the enticing aroma of festive spices. They are quite robust little biscuit-cakes, but give way satisfyingly under tooth with a chewiness that's slightly firmer than Lebkuchen.
I expected them to be very gingery seeing as Waitrose's website oddly describes them as 'Glazed ginger bread nuts iced' (brilliant English!) however I found that the anise is most prominant spice followed by cinnamon and then ginger. I dislike liquorice or anything aniseedy and so was quite undecided when I had my first few; however they soon grew on me and I almost polished off the entire bag in one sitting-oops!
I'm not about to give up my beloved Lebkuchen in favour of Pfeffernüsse, but they're certainly a nice festive treat!