Prep 20 mins
Cook 24 mins
Put these thin little chocolate cookies on your holiday platter & let tasters be surprised, very surprised. The black pepper and allspice gives unexpected snap. Found in The Washington Post, adapted from "The Ultimate Chocolate Cookie Book," by Bruce Weinstein. Make the dough & chill - this allows you to bake when you want to, as many as you want at a time.
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour, plus additional for dusting the work surface
- 3⁄4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, cool, cut into small pieces (6 ounces)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer on medium speed, soften the butter, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, if still a little gritty, about 2 minutes. Beat in 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper and the allspice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and stir in the flour mixture, just until combined.
- Lightly dust the work surface with flour and turn the dough onto it. Roll gently into a 9-inch log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
- Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liner.
- Slice the log into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 6 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for about 6 more minutes, or until the cookies are slightly puffed and the tops feel springy. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. After all of the cookies are cooled, sift the sugar-pepper mixture over the cookies through a fine-mesh strainer. Store in an airtight container at room temperature between layers of wax paper for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
My mum introduced me to this recipe 20+ yrs ago. Way before we had internet. She called them Black pepper cookies. We made them small, bagged up, for local cafes and they sold like hot cakes. Over the years i have discovered that they go just as well with a nice glass of red as they do with a black coffee. I love to serve them on a cheese platter to guests. Everyone, and i mean EVERYONE loves these cookies
OMG, these are soooo good. You are right about that "unexpected snap". This went together so easy that my DGS made them by himself, the surprising part is that he's one boy who SWEARS he HATES pepper and won't try anything that even has a small suspicious speck in it. Even after making this himself and knowing the pepper was in it - he declared them the BEST cookie ever. Sort of soft on the inside with that nice crunch on the outside. We made added red sugar to the topping as we wanted to serve at our Valentine bar-b-q. The one suggestion I'd make is if using a powder sugar sifter to apply that dusting, use regular pepper for that part as the fresh ground would not go through our sieve. But that is OK, we got our "snap" from what was inside the cookie. DGS has taken this recipe home so he can make it again. 2010 update: These little gems where so good last year, made them again this year for are holiday tray.