Voth's Quick & Easy Peppernut recipe as published in KANSAS! Magazine, winter 2017 edition

The story I wrote about Peppernuts for KANSAS! magazine, winter 2017 just arrived in the mail. The story covers those dainty, big-flavored cookies made in both commercial kitchens (The Peppernut Factory, Tecumseh; Main Street Cafe, Durham); Prairie Harvest, Newton) and home ovens (Jason Kohler, Abilene; Rhoda Frasier, Concordia; Diana Jost, Burdick) + a recipe from cookbook author Norma Jost Roth (a sampling of her work includes Peppernuts, Plain and Fancy, Mennonite Foods & Folkways from South Russia, vol. I and vol. 2 and Food, Feast & Fellowship from Jost Family Kitchens)
The winter issue of KANSAS! is dedicated to food and includes a listing of the top twenty local eateries in Kansas, a story about Liberal Pancakes & Lindsborg Waffles and much more. 
Below is the lead in and the recipe that Mrs. Voth used to take on the road. By the way, this dough really is easy to work with and the recipe is quick to make!
Now in her 90s, Norma Jost Voth is as excited about peppernuts as she was back when she was researching Mennonite foods and folklore for her books. Born and raised in Hillsboro, she now resides in California but still values her Kansas roots. Sharing family history has always been important to her, and over the years she has recorded many people’s folklore. Currently she is working on her own family history.
Although her books are full of peppernut recipes, this is one of her favorites. It is quick and easy, and the dough can be shaped and baked immediately, without chilling overnight. “It’s the one I made when I went on book tours,” she recalls.

Quick and Easy Peppernuts

INGREDIENTS
1½ 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)*
3½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger

DIRECTIONS
  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.
    Dough that is ready to roll out. 
    Dough rolled pencil thin.
    Dough snipped with kitchen scissors.
    Snipped dough arranged on sprayed parchment paper.
  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 (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1990) pp. 379–80. Reprinted with the author’s permission.

*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.
The recipe as it appears in KANSAS!
Recipe without photos . . .
Quick and Easy Peppernuts
1½ 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)*
3½ cups sifted all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
  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 (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1990) pp. 379–80. Reprinted with the author’s permission.

*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.

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