I was recently invited to a cookie swap at my dear friend Carla's house, and went on the hunt for a fun new cookie recipe to try. Inspired by a toe-curlingly delicious black pepper creme brulée I'd tasted earlier this month at Peché, I went on the hunt for a cookie that could similarly evoke that delightful "sweet, but reminiscent of something savory" flavor that the creme brulée had for me.
I lighted upon this recipe, and went to work. I followed the recipe pretty much as written, except that I rolled the cookies slightly larger (1/2 inch balls are awfully small!) and didn't press them down as much as the author seems to have based on the photos. The recipe made quite a few more cookies than it said it would - I made 1-1/2 times the recipe, which was supposed to yield 72 cookies, and ended up with twice that many! No matter, though; they are quite small (they don't spread much), so you really won't mind having an army of them.
Ready for baking
Stack o' yum
Behold the butter cookie!
Buttery. Sweet. But not too sweet, and with a subtle, black peppery bite. Winner!
I'm making more tomorrow.
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Black Pepper Butter Cookies
This recipe is supposed to yield 4 dozen cookies. Even if you roll the balls to about 1" in diameter, I think you will get at least double that.
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sweet unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
extra sugar, for dipping glass
Mix all ingredients (except for the extra sugar for dipping the glass) together well using a heavy duty mixer.
Roll the dough into balls about 1" in diameter. I used a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop the dough as I was rolling my cookies, and that seemed to work pretty well.
Use the flat base of a drinking glass that has been dipped into sugar to gently flatten each dough ball on the cookie sheets. Don't worry; the sugar WILL stick to the glass after you press your first butter-laden cookie!
Bake in a preheated 350˚ F (or 180˚ C) oven for 8-11 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Do not overbake.
Remove to wire racks to cool.