Peppery, chocolaty cookies (anytime)

July 27, 2009

The weather’s just too darn nice for me to sit in front of the computer any more than I have to! Which is why this blog is kind of haphazard lately. Well, that and the fact that I’m crazy busy with work — after a dry spell, I always pick up more projects than I can safely handle. And then I curse my greed and swear I will never do that again … only of course I do, because freelancing is all peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys.

Except I’m not sure if the busy times are the peaks or the valleys!

Anyway, one thing I’ve found time to do is bake cookies. S., with his big ol’ sweet tooth, ensures that I make cookie dough at least once a week. Lately he’s been begging for chocolate — which disgusts M., because he doesn’t even LIKE chocolate! — and one of S.’s favorite doughs is Wienerstube Cookies from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies. Because I’m wanting to get off the computer tonight, I googled them to see if anyone had already typed in the recipe … and I discovered that A LOT of people really like these cookies (although there are a few who can’t deal with the whole chocolate-black pepper combination, so consider yourself forewarned).

Unfortunately for me, no one has typed in the whole directions from the cookbook, so I can’t just link you to them. But I did find the ingredient list on Chowhound:

1.5 c sifted all-purpose flour
1.5 t baking powder
.25 t salt
.75 t cinnamon
.25 t allspice
.5 t finely ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
.75 c unsweetened cocoa (preferably Dutch)
1.5 sticks unsalted butter
1.5 t vanilla
1 c sugar
1 egg
It’s a basic cookie technique to make them: Pour all the dry ingredients into a sifter (S. LOVES the sifter, so we do actually sift this recipe) and set it aside while you cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and beat well, then gradually sift in the dry ingredients and beat just until mixed. These are icebox cookies, which means you form the dough into a log and wrap it with plastic, then toss it into the fridge or freezer until it’s good and firm. I usually do a circular roll, although I’ve seen square or triangle logs too, and they’re sort of fun because these are all-black cookies that benefit from a unique shape.

To bake, you cut the cookies into quarter-inch slices and place them on foil-lined cookies sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or so, just until the tops spring back lightly when touched. If you’re in doubt, take them out — they bake really quickly, and if you leave them too long they get unpleasantly crunchy. Take them off the foil and cool them on racks.


One Response to “Peppery, chocolaty cookies (anytime)”

  1. (How come everything I comment on is about food??)

    I’m so glad you posted this — these are my new favorite cookie.

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