Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 11 mins

These are my absolute favorite cookies. A friend in college had received a huge tin of homemade cookies from her mother and a version of these cookies were inside, along with many other types of cookies. I had never heard of black pepper cookies before and loved the unique flavor-sweet & buttery, with a slight kick from the pepper. I searched for years to find the recipe and finally found it in a Watkins spices cookbook several years ago. I make these every year for the holidays and everyone always wants to know the secret of my "vanilla flecked" butter cookies. Update: Eggs sizes seem to be shrinking, so depending upon the size of the eggs in your area, you may need to use an XL egg rather than a large. Regarding the pepper: fresh ground will produce huge grains of pepper and make things far too peppery and savory tasting. Please use finely ground pre-ground black pepper in this recipe, carefully measured using a measuring spoon and leveled off.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix all ingredients (except for the extra sugar for dipping the glass) together well using a heavy duty mixer.
  2. Roll into 1/2 inch size balls-you will need three large ungreased cookie sheets, 16 balls per sheet.
  3. Use the flat base of a drinking glass that has been dipped into sugar to flatten each dough ball on the cookie sheets.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 F (or 180 C) oven for 8-11 minutes or until lighly browned on the edges- do not overbake.
  5. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Most Helpful

These are quite good. They taste is pretty subtle, just a little bit of a kick every now and then. The vanilla in them is to die for. It made so many that I adapted a few batches- added some mini choc. chips to some and cinnamon to others. Both are good. The cinnamon is great- makes it a really flavourful spicy cookie and seems to go well with the pepper. These are going in all my xmas gift tins!

Len23 December 12, 2003

These cookies are great! I have made them several times, and sometimes I seperate the dough and make some without the pepper just so I get a variety (also, some times I ice some). A trick I use is to put the dough into logs in the fridge for a while. That helps me make even balls as I can just slice evenly and then form the balls from the slices. Thanks for a great recipe!

DonnaR April 08, 2006

I made these on a snowy Saturday, and boy, did the house smell like the holidays. I really like these a lot - delicious, almost like a snickerdoodle. The pepper gives these cookies quite a unique taste. I made these exactly as directed. I ended up with slightly over 5 dozen (I may have been making the cookie balls a bit on the small side). On one of my cookie sheets, I had trouble getting the cookies off, so for the next batch, I sprayed it lightly with PAM - no problem. I wasn't sure how much to smoosh the cookie balls, so I'm not sure if my cookies are too thin, but I didn't have any problems getting them off the baking sheets (see above exception). They're wonderful with tea - thin and crispy. I wish I'd thought to dip the glass in green and red colored sugar - that would be pretty for the holidays. Simple, but delicious cookie with a complex taste - thanks for sharing this one, HeatherFeather!

Lizzie-Babette December 07, 2003