I know Lisa from Columbus--our husbands were in the same graduating class of medical school at Ohio State. Something I will always remember about Lisa is that during the white coat ceremony (which takes place right before med school starts), when the announcer called out her husband's name, he had to explain that Joe couldn't be there because he was in the hospital with his wife, who was having their first baby! What a way to start out med school :o)
Lisa says: "While "pfeffer" generally means "pepper" in German today, in the old days the term was used to refer to spices."
3/4 cup light molasses
1/2 cup butter
2 beaten eggs
4 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
In saucepan, combine molasses and butter. Cook and stir over medium low heat until butter melts. Cool to room temperature. Stir in eggs.
Sift together: flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add to molasses mixture, mix well. You probably will not need all the dry mixture--be careful of how dry the dough becomes. You don't want it to crumble, the dough should form into a soft, somewhat sticky ball. Chill overnight.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls (they will expand in the oven). Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for 12 minutes--be careful not to overbake; they are dark so you can't tell if they are burning, they should be a softball shaped cookie. Cool and roll in confectioner's sugar.
Yields 42 cookies.