A friend pointed me to this recipe (which I've changed slightly) on the blog MontCarte that is adapted from a recipe on Under the Highchair. I love recipes involving spiced chocolate. These cookies are absolutely delicious and they smell wonderful while baking. I didn't want to leave the kitchen! The topping gives the cookie a sparkly look and a wonderful crunch accented by a hint of heat from the cayenne pepper. The MontCarte blogger substituted the vegetable shortening with additional unsalted butter, but her cookies were crumbly as a result. I used vegetable shortening and my cookies crumbled very little. I've switched to bread flour in this cookie recipe. I will produce cookies with lasting softness. If that's not something you want, the bread flour can easily be replaced with all-purpose flour. If you plan to serve these to sensitive mouths and tummies, leave out the chili powder and cayenne but keep the black pepper to still achieve the spiced-chocolate taste without the burn. I prefer to use freshly ground black pepper for this recipe to achieve a stronger note in the taste. If you have an audience who's hesitant to spiced chocolate, dub these cookies simply "chocolate cookies" and watch for a reaction. I've seen these cookies win over many a cinnamon-chocolate, pepper-chocolate hater. Yield of this recipe is around 5 dozen and serving size is 2-3 cookies but I usually eat twice that amount in each sitting. The cookies great well with a glass of milk or crumbled over ice cream.