Pfeffernüsse

Pfeffernüsse
Makes about 5 – 6 dozen.

Ingredients
1 3/4 oz. finely ground almond flour (you can substitute coconut flour but it may increase baking time)
2 1/2 oz. brown rice flour
1 oz. white rice flour
1/2 oz. arrowroot
1/4 t. xanthan gum
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/8 t. star anise
1/8 t. finely ground black pepper
1 t. lemon peel
1 T. orange peel
1/4 t. baking powder
1/8 t. baking soda
1/8 t. sea salt
4 T. Earth Balance margarine
4 oz. cane sugar
2 t. unsweetened applesauce
3 T. honey (for vegan version, substitute molasses)
3 T. cognac, brandy, or armangnac

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, arrowroot, xanthan gum,  spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add applesauce and continue to beat until well combined.
3. Stir 1/3 of flour mixture into margarine mixture followed by honey.
4. Stir another 1/3 of flour mixture into margarine mixture followed by cognac. Add remaining 1/3 flour mixture and stir until well combined.
5. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 24 hours or up to 2 days to allow flavors to blend.
6. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
7. Divide dough into four to six portions, and refrigerate portions you are not working with.
8. With your hands roll each portion into a long, 1/2 inch thick rope. Slice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces. Place about 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet. (For smaller cookies, roll rope to the thickness of a pencil width and reduce baking time.)
9. Bake for 14 – 16 minutes until the cookies are faintly tinged on top , slightly darker on the edges, and bottoms begin to brown. Allow to cool on cooking sheet. Cookies should harden as they cool.

Cookies will keep 2 – 3 weeks in an airtight container.

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