Making Christmas Cookies

I took advantage of a couple of days off to do some Christmas baking. This year I decided to go gold. I like shiny things

First up: Chocolate Pepper Cookies made with cayenne & black pepper. You’d never guess the pepper was in there. They are spicy in the way that gingerbread tastes.

Step 1: sift flour, peppers & cocoa together.

I use Droste Cocoa. Genuine Dutch cocoa, it is delicious and it hates me

Seriously, it flies everywhere to spite me. Cruel, cruel Cacao…. Product of The Netherlands.

Sifting never works well for me.

Creaming butter goes better. A Kitchen-Aid stand mixer makes it easy.

Add those dry ingredients. To keep them from flying everywhere, wrap a towel around the mixer.

 Except that cocoa despies me and attempts to dust me every single time I use the stuff. Perhaps it knows it will soon be in 350 degree oven.

Serioiusly it flies everywhere.  But that doesn’t stop me from making a nice square of dough to chill

And while it chilled, I made a nice pot of soup

Then an hour later, I rolled out that dough between two sheets of plastic wrap

Then cut them out

I decorated with lots of shiny. I like shiny

I also made spritz butter cookies

And Salty Chocolate Cookies.


Chocolate Pepper Cookies

Chocolate pepper cookies

Makes 3 to 4 dozen

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp.

2 large eggs lightly beaten

3 cups sifted all purpose flour.

1 ¾ cups sugar

1 ½ cups unsweetened coca powder.

¼ tsp salt.

1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add to the butter mixtures and bat until well mixed. If dough seems too soft add up to ¼ cup more flour. Shape into a flattened round wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking shets with parchment paper.

Rol out dough until 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into shapes and set 1 to 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until crisp. Do not allow to darken.

Butter Spritz Cookies:

Makes about 6 dozen 1 1/2-inch cookies. Published November 1, 2004.

We had the best results baking these cookies one sheet at a time. When reusing a cookie sheet, make sure that it has completely cooled before forming more cookies on it. Unbaked dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days; to use, let it stand at room temperature until softened, about 45 minutes. Baked cookies will keep for more than a week if stored in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag. For longer storage, freeze unbaked cookies right on the baking sheet and transfer to zipper-lock bags for storage. When ready to bake, place them back on the baking sheet and follow the recipe, adding 2 to 4 minutes extra baking time.


1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (about 70 degrees)

2/3 cup sugar (about 4-3/4 ounces)

1/4 teaspoon table salt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)


1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, beat yolk, cream, and vanilla with fork until combined; set aside.

2. 2. In standing mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer running at medium speed, add yolk/cream mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. With mixer running at low speed, gradually beat in flour until combined. Scrape down bowl and give final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain.

3. 3. If using cookie press to form cookies, follow manufacturer’s instructions to fill press; if using pastry bag, follow illustrations 1 through 3 below to fill bag. Press or pipe cookies onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheet until just warm, 10 to 15 minutes; using metal spatula, transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Salty Chocolate Cookies
Salty chocolate cookies (aka World Peace Cookies)

Cookies need three hour chill before bake time

1 ¼ cups all urpose flour

½ cup unsweetened coca powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp

½ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar.

½ tsp fleur de sel or other sea salt.

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate.

Sift flour cocoa and baking soda together.

Using stand mixer beat butter on medium until soft and creamy. Add sugars, salt, vanilla and beat for 2 minutes more. Turn off mixer, pour in dry ingredients then drape towel around stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen free of flour. Pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times a second or two each time. If there is still a lot of four on the surface of the dough pulse a couple more times. Continue at low speed mix for about 30 seconds more just until flour isappears into the dough. For best texture work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a bit crumbly. Toss in chocolate pieces and mix to incorporate. Turn the dough onto work surface, gather it together and divide in half. Working with one halt at a time shape the dough into logs that are 1 ½ inches in idamter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. The dough can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen for 2 months.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line baking shee wit parchment. Then slice the dough into rounds ½ an inch thick. The dough may crack, but don’t worry. Leave about an inch between cookies. Bake for 12 minutes. You can eat when just warm or wait until they cool.

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