rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (baking)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2008-02-15 03:00 am

"A big red label"

Stealthy Pepper Cookies
(adapted from this sugar cookie recipe)

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons white pepper
Cracked black peppercorns

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs, milk, vanilla. Sift or whisk together dry ingredients except for peppercorns. (Be prepared for sneezing when you mix in the pepper.) Add dry to wet, mix until dough forms. If dough is very soft, add up to 1/4 cup additional flour. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a log of about 2" diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour and preferably overnight. The dough is fairly soft, so after it has firmed up somewhat you may want to roll it around a little to keep it from getting flat on the bottom. Another option is to flatten four sides and make square cookies. For cookies that won't spread, freeze the dough for half an hour just before baking.

Heat oven to 400F. If dough has been frozen, let logs sit at room temperature for five minutes. Spread peppercorns over a flat surface and roll the logs in them to lightly coat. You may have to press down fairly hard to get the peppercorns to stick to the dough. Slice into 1/4"-thick rounds (or squares or whatever) and arrange on baking sheet, allowing an inch of spreading space. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden around the edges and on top. Transfer to cooling rack; enjoy while warm and soft or after cooling and crisping.

These are stealthy for two reasons:

1) The white pepper is completely invisible. Without the peppercorns, these would look like perfectly ordinary sugar cookies.

2) They taste like perfectly ordinary sugar cookies too, at first. Give it a moment... aha, there's the heat! Yum.

If you like them less spicy, reduce the white pepper, but don't leave off the peppercorns altogether; they add a lovely flavor as well as additional heat. You can always put in a teaspoon or two of white pepper, mix and taste the dough, and add more if you feel it's needed. I imagine green or pink peppercorns could be used instead of black, as long as they were crushed in some fashion first.

[identity profile] 2008-02-15 10:09 am (UTC)(link)
What a novel recipe. It actually sounds horrendous, but at the same time, I figure it must be good because it sounds so awful. (I like weird food.) I can burn water, but I'm going to force my kitchen-savvy housemate to bake these.

Thank you!

[identity profile] 2008-02-15 12:01 pm (UTC)(link)
These sound fantastic. The change I am pondering in my head is "what would a spice mix be like?" -- Not normal sweet spices like cinnamon and cloves, but maybe a little cardamom and powdered ginger. Not enough to make them not primarily pepper cookies, but to fill out the dimension "unexpected heat in cookie". Let us know how this batch goes, and when I eventually make them, I'll tinker and report back.

[identity profile] 2008-02-16 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
my grandma used to make pfeffernusse ('pepper nut' in german) cookies, which have the traditional cinnamon/clove/nutmeg/allspice sort of spice blend, which is not a favorite combination of mine. but pepper, oh, how i love pepper. [ profile] simplykimberly took me to the jellybelly factory some years ago and the black pepper flavor were my favorite by far. so i tinkered with my sugar cookie recipe and came up with something incredibly similar to this recipe. one difference is that i finish them in the same way my grandma taught me to finish sugar cookies, so i mix coarsely-ground peppercorns with raw sugar, roll balls of dough in that, and then flatten the tops with a criss-cross pattern with a fork.

[identity profile] 2008-02-15 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
What an excellent idea.

I could imagine particularly using pink peppercorns if making them for one's sweetie/Valentine's Day.
kiya: (bad influence)

[personal profile] kiya 2008-02-16 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)

[ profile] whispercricket and I have generated dough, and it is in the fridge. And we will clean the basement for a while, and then we will make cookies, and they will be offered to [ profile] arawen, who puts too much pepper in everything.