These crunchy cookies get a flavorful kick from black pepper and cinnamon.

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Recipe Summary

Yield:
Makes about 4 dozen
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, pepper, espresso powder, and cinnamon into a large bowl; set aside.

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  • Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.

  • Turn out dough onto a piece of parchment paper, and roll into a 2-inch-diameter log. Roll log in the parchment. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove log from parchment paper. Let soften slightly at room temperature, about 5 minutes. Roll log in sanding sugar, gently pressing down to adhere sugar to dough. Transfer log to a cutting board, and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 1 inch apart. Sprinkle each round with freshly ground pepper.

  • Bake cookies until there is slight resistance when you lightly touch centers, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.

Reviews (32)

103 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 25
  • 3 star values: 33
  • 2 star values: 13
  • 1 star values: 7
Rating: Unrated
12/10/2012
I used ground espresso instead of instant, and I also substituted grated, unsweetened baking chocolate for a small portion of the cocoa. I didn't notice any graininess from undissolved espresso grounds (which I ground even more finely than I usually do for our espresso drinks), and I loved the strong chocolate and coffee taste and smell. These were a big hit at my neighborhood holiday celebration, and I think they might be my new favorite cookie.
Rating: Unrated
05/09/2012
I found the dough hard to shape into a nice cylinder, so the cookies look a bit unprofessional. There's a lot of cinnamon flavor, and not enough deep chocolate taste, My husband said that in a blind test he'd guess they were cinnamon cookies.
Rating: Unrated
01/25/2011
Instant espresso powder is NOT the same as ground coffee beans. The ground coffee beans will not dissolve in the recipe. You can find the instant espresso powder in a jar in the section of the grocery where regular coffe is sold or at specialty food stores like an Italian marketplace.
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Rating: Unrated
01/25/2011
To help cut the log w/o having to roll out the dough, I use a thread. Wrap it around the log of cookie dough, cross on top and pull, as if you were making a knot. This is a technique the Czech use to cut their traditional dumplings - the thread is sharp and slides through the soft dough like a wire. You just need to go slow and not wobble, so that the slice is even.
Rating: Unrated
12/08/2010
I've come to love these - they are a grown-up chocolate cookie. I skip the sprinkling of pepper at the end - though I do include it in the recipe. It gives it a bite but is not too strong. I actually grind my pepper into a powder in my mortar
Rating: Unrated
09/18/2010
Cerine, if you don't want to use espresso powder for kids, try to find some chocolate extract online. It can be expensive but it will enrich the chocolate flavor. Just substitute for some or all of the vanilla extract and make sure its for baked goods, some are not.
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Rating: Unrated
04/05/2010
These are fabulous! Everyone loves them. The first time I made them the "log" lost its shape as I cut it. So the second go I rolled it out and used cookie cutters to make shapes (biscuit cutters for simple round ones). They came out great! If you like them even spicier, add a tsp of cayenne pepper - they're rich and chocolatey at first, and then have a nice bite at the end. Really delicious!
Rating: Unrated
03/21/2010
The coffee is in there simply to enhance the flavour of the chocolate. I have chocolate cake recipes that include coffee, but you don't taste the coffee. I wouldn't leave it out.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2010
Any idea for a substitute for espresso powder, my toddler would really enjoy these cookies .
Rating: Unrated
03/07/2010
Hello Vietnamvetwife......Yes, espresso powder is the same. The same beans are used for espresso beans as for regular coffe, it's just that they are ground much finer than regular coffee.
Rating: Unrated
03/07/2010
Excuse my ignorance but I think I may be forgiven for my question following, as ingredient names do vary throughout the world. Is expresso powder the same as ground coffee beans used in making expresso coffee? I live in Australia you see, and if I am right in thinking that these two items are exactly the same, then what you lovely Americans call expresso powder, is ground (expresso) coffee beans. With thanks ...
Rating: Unrated
08/02/2009
In the Cookies book, it says the recipe yields 4 dozen.
Rating: Unrated
03/23/2009
Does anyone know how much the recipe yields?
Rating: Unrated
03/22/2009
would like to make these, but how many does it make? i need to take these somewhere and need a lot of cookies.
Rating: Unrated
03/22/2009
I not a coffee persone either. I think these cookies sound great. I would just leave the espresso powder out. I guess I will have to test it out.
Rating: Unrated
03/19/2009
If I don't like coffee would I still like this cookie?
Rating: Unrated
03/13/2009
"Why would you put pepper in a cookie?" Because black pepper enhances the flavor of spices. I make black pepper cutouts every Christmas. They're a real hit.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
Why would you put pepper in a cookie?
Rating: Unrated
03/09/2009
i have jude them , they r in the oven right now ... but seeem really good .... thanks
Rating: Unrated
03/09/2009
Espresso Powder is found in the same place as instant coffee. It is not a common ingredient to find in most grocery stores. You can replace regular intant coffee powder but depending on the type of powder, you amy need 1/2 extra. I find that if the instant coffee bits are very 'puffy' I have to increase the amount by 1/2. Espresso powder comes in a small jar and it is a fine crystal.
Rating: Unrated
03/09/2009
When ever you see a recipe for what ever and it says tablepsoon and followed by a plus it means in addition to . As the grandmother said, be nice about explaining to anybody as baking and cooking are fun ........ these cookies look fab and especially for our bake sale at our Parish . thanks for the taste comments .
Rating: Unrated
03/08/2009
Espresso powder is alfound by the coffee and tea in your local grocery.
Rating: Unrated
03/08/2009
Hi all..Anyway I do't know if I am from Podunk or what but I can"t seem to find espresso powder in my stores. What should I be looking for and where should I be looking for it?
Rating: Unrated
03/08/2009
What a rude comment! Lighten up. Maybe they haven't done much baking.
Rating: Unrated
03/08/2009
Use One Tablespoon plus the One Teaspoon. Think of it as four teaspoons OR One and One-Third Tablespoons. One tablespoon of the espresso is not quite enough. They are yummy!
Rating: Unrated
02/26/2008
what an unsual combination, I must try these!
Rating: Unrated
12/27/2007
I used both measures for the espresso powder, and they turned out fabulous! They had more of a chocolate taste than a coffee taste with a fantastic peppery after-taste. One of my favourites I made this holiday season!!
Rating: Unrated
12/27/2007
someone please answer: I'm also confused by the two expresso powder measurements - which do you use (or BOTH?). This sounds like my kind of cookie and I'd love to made these. I even have expresso powder on hand! Just let me know how much you use - THANKS!!
Rating: Unrated
12/23/2007
There are two measurements for expresso powder in this recipe. Which is correct; should it be 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon of expresso powder?
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2007
I made these today, and they are absolutely delicious!!! I wasn't able to find any sanding sugar, so I used granulated sugar for rolling the cookie dough log, and the finished cookie still had a nice glistening edge. I can't wait to share this cookie with family and friends!
Rating: Unrated
12/14/2007
A new favorite for our family!!! Rich chocolate flavor.
Rating: Unrated
12/12/2007
Can't wait to try these cookies!