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Traditions are a funny thing. Sometimes you don't realize how unique a family tradition is until you get away from your family.

So it is with peppernuts and me.


Every year, RIGHT after Thanksgiving, my Grandma would start baking batches and batches of peppernuts. Growing up, I didn't even really like them, but couldn't resist popping one after another in my mouth. Peppernuts taste like Christmas to me. Simple as that.

So, imagine my surprise when I moved to Tennessee and discovered that NO ONE knows what peppernuts are! (My Kansas readers may be shocked at this news, but it's true.) Since moving here, every year, I get a package in the mail right after Thanksgiving from my Grandma full of peppernuts. (I guess some traditions can't be contained by distance) Even though I wasn't home I felt a little bit closer just by tasting those yummy little irresistible cookies.


Once I got married, I too began to make peppernuts right after Thanksgiving—sharing an old family tradition with my new husband and my new family. I even started bringing them to work to spread the joy of peppernuts!


This year was especially fun because the sisters were able to "help." They at least thought it was fun to stand on the stool and help pour ingredients into the bowl and watch the mixer's paddle go around. Big sister even helped make snakes—although I am somewhat confident that she ate all hers before they ever got to the oven.


So for those of you who are new to peppernuts, here's my family's recipe. I know my Grandma has been making it for the almost 30 years of my lifetime and who knows how long before that. I hope you enjoy! And if you give it a try, I'm willing to bet that you'll be hooked. :)

Melt in Your Mouth Peppernuts

1 cup butter
1 and 1/2 C. sugar
1 beaten egg
2 T. dark syrup
3 and 3/4 C. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cloves
1 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. anise oil

Cream butter, sugar, syrup and egg. Add dry ingredients and anise oil. Chill dough. Roll out into long rolls the size of you little finger. Keep chilled. Slice into small pieces and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. (my gas oven only takes 7 minutes)

Let me know how you like them!



The Lapsley's:

So yummy. Im gonna try to make these this year for my family down in Louisiana. This will be brand spankin new to them!
PS. What is soda???

May 27, 2015

Verenika and other Yummy-ness.:

[…] completely took the culture of my heritage and the region I grew up in for granted. As it was with peppernuts, it wasn’t until I moved away that I even realized that there was something special going on […]

May 27, 2015


In making them my own I’ve found that there’s anise oil (which my grandma uses & costs around $15 a bottle that she buys from the pharmacy) and anise extract which is around $3 a bottle and can be purchased at the grocery store. I use the extract because at first I didn’t know any better, and because I don’t love the stronger licorice flavor that the oil gives. For me, the extract is just enough. :)

May 27, 2015


Kristi, I just to a tiny bit of anise too. I’m not a fan of that flavor. Sometimes grandma’s have too much in it for my preferences…too black licorice tasting to me!

May 27, 2015

Kristi Rediske:

I love peppernuts but I love the ones without the anise in them, just don’t like that taste, maybe I am weird. I need to get some made this week. If you are wondering who this is, I was one of your Aunt Barbs best friends, and my parents are your parents good friends, my maiden name is Williams. I enjoy reading your blog and thought I would comment this time. Keep up the good work. (oh I read Lindseys blog and found out about yours)

May 27, 2015

meg duerksen:

it's on my list of 35 things. i almost did it over christmas break but just got tired. i have never done it. i looooove them. :) we were blessed w/ 2 huge bags which is why i didn't feel real strongly about making them. thanks for the recipe!

May 27, 2015

Emily @ Little Home:

I had never heard of peppernuts until I met Jared – he couldn't believe it!

May 27, 2015

Lori Danelle:

Baking Soda.

Hope they enjoy them!!

May 27, 2015

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