This recipe was featured in the winter 2017 issue of KANSAS!.
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
• 1 large egg
• 2 tablespoons white corn syrup
• ½ teaspoon anise oil (not anise extract)
• 3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons ground cloves
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Anise oil is a pure essential oil extracted directly from the herbal plant anise or anise seed. Anise extract is made by combining a small amount of that essential oil mixed with alcohol to create a less intense flavoring.
1. In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter together until creamy. Beat in egg, syrup and anise oil.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Beat well.
3. Take small amount of dough and on lightly floured board roll into dime-sized ropes. With sharp knife dipped in flour or cold water, slice rope into ¼-inch pieces and place on greased (or sprayed) baking sheet. A simpler method of cutting is to hold small portions of rolled dough in left hand, and with kitchen scissors dipped in cold water, snip off small piece of dough directly onto greased (or sprayed) baking sheet. Allow enough space for peppernuts to expand slightly.
4. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 7 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. These peppernuts are very crisp and will last a long time if kept in airtight containers.
Recipe taken from Mennonite Foods & Folkways from South Russia, Volume 1, by Norma Jost Voth (Good Books, 1990) pp. 379–80. Reprinted with the author’s permission.