Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pepper and Spice Dark Chocolate Cookies

I made these for Eric because he liked the homemade oreo cookies a lot and he likes things that are spicy. From The Perfect Finish, by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark. Instructions are copied verbatim.


1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of ground mace
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp pink peppercorns
12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling


1. In an electric spice grinder or clean electric coffee grinder, grind the black peppercorns and cinnamon stick to a medium-fine powder. Sift the ground spices, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, allspice, salt, ginger, mace, and cayenne onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper and set aside. 

2. Using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a knife, crush the pink peppercorns. Place the pink pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and add the butter and brown sugar. Beat until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg and vanilla. 

3. Add the spice-flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and roll it into a 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Wrap well and refrigerate overnight. 

4. The next day, position the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners. Using a thin-bladed knife, slice the cookies into 1/4-inch-thick coins and place them on the baking sheets 1/2 inch apart. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of granulated sugar. Bake, turning the sheets from back to front and switching them between the top rack and the bottom halfway through, until the cookies are just firm to the touch, about 8 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes to firm up, then use a spatula to transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

My notes

I added a tiny bit more pink peppercorns - I had just bought them, they're pretty, they come in a big jar...it just seemed like the right thing to do. 

I didn't do the thing with two sheets in the oven. 

I don't like these as much as Eric does. They have a little bit more of a spicy aftertaste than I would prefer. But he'll sit and eat a bunch at a time, so it's not that they're not good cookies. 

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