On my stop at the grocery store, I spotted these cookies, on sale for 2 for $3 no less, and had to get some.
Pfeffernusse, for those of you unfamiliar with them, are a German cookie, spicy, hard, and tiny, about the size of a nickel. Mothers and grandmothers, so the story goes, would keep them in their pockets during church services and give them to the children to suck on.
These are pretty tasty, but they just wouldn't work. They're about twice the diameter they should be, too large to pop in a little one's mouth, and they're pretty soft, they'd be gone in an instant. And they have a powdered sugar coating, which would never work because the pockets and children would be coated with powdered sugar. Like the original recipe, they are low in fat, though.
We never had them at my house, my mother make beautiful cookies at Christmas, cut-out sugar and molasses, topped with colored sugars and those little hard silver balls. By the time Christmas came, an entire canner would be filled with them. There would be santas and reindeer and wreaths and bells and trees and many other shapes.
I can't make those pretty cookies, although my sister can. Maybe because my mother always, always used butter and I don't, at least we can blame it on that.
My grandmother made only two kinds of cookies, both drop cookies, sugar and molasses with a large raisin in the middle, alternating recipes. She kept them in the pantry in a large tin. When Christmas came, whichever cookie was up would get green or red sugar on top.