Black Pepper Cookies

A recipe for an unusual chocolate cookie with black pepper.

Source:  I got the recipe from my sister, Emily Roper, who claims she got it from “who knows?”.

Yield: almost 2 dozen

Just last night I told my husband that I had had too much chocolate.  My recent baking adventures have included the Chocolate Hello Dolly Cookies, the Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and a Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake.  I’m all chocolated-out.  My husband raised his eyebrows in surprise.  I’ve never in my life felt like I was tired of chocolate.  No one could have seen it coming.

It turns out, I’m a liar.  Not on purpose, or anything, though.  Today when my sister sent me the recipe for these Chocolate Black Pepper cookies, I was intrigued.  I mean, black pepper in a cookie, I HAD to try it, right?  I looked through the ingredients and realized I had everything I needed to make them.  (Sort of.  More on that later.)  And, even though I knew it involved chocolate, a lot of chocolate, I forged ahead.

The recipe itself is not so unusual.  I started by creaming the butter and sugars together for a couple minutes.  Honestly, I get annoyed by ingredients like superfine sugar.  Why can’t I just use regular sugar?  I don’t have a single recipe in my admittedly vast collection that calls for superfine sugar, besides this one.  If I buy it, it will just sit in my cupboard until I get annoyed at it and make another batch of pepper cookies to get rid of it.  So, I just used regular sugar.  I figured, if it’s a problem, I would figure it out.

One Entire Teaspoonful of Black Pepper


I mixed in the egg and vanilla, and then added the dry ingredients.  Lastly, I chopped up the chocolate.  Once again, my laziness won out.  I thought I had unsweetened chocolate in the cupboard, but alas, all I had was semi-sweet.  I’ve already been to the grocery store today, and if there is anything that annoys me more than grocery shopping, it is grocery shopping twice in the same day.  I was all brave and crazy and used the semi-sweet.  I know, courage of a lion, right?  


4 oz. of Semi-Sweet Chocolate

It really is quite a lot of chocolate.  You will need to mix it in by hand.  I used a wooden spoon.  Too much mixing once you have added the flour will make the cookies turn to bread, which is never good.  Did I mention how much I love my Henckels""“>Henckels knives?  Once you use decent knives, you can never go back.  They are one of my favorite possessions.

Next, roll the dough into a log.  The recipe calls for the log to be 2 3/4″ in diameter, which I thought was oddly specific, especially given the next instruction, which is to cut slices, then roll the slices into balls and flatten them.  Weird.  Anyway, you should have this nice little log which looks like… well,… a log.  Chill the gross-looking but awesome-tasting log for at least an hour.  (You can refrigerate the dough over night if you prefer.)

The Chocolate Log, just Chillin'

After about an hour, I removed my dough and started slicing.  I’m not sure the chilling really helped much, because the dough was still pretty soft and gooey.  I rounded and flattened the slices and placed them on the baking sheet.  Mine baked for 10 minutes, which turned out to be perfect.  I gave them just a minute or two to cool before taste testing (or poison-checking, as my dad calls it.).  It’s weird, because you can taste the pepper in the dough much more than in the cookie.  Once baked, the cookie basically tastes like a plain old chocolate cookie, until just after you swallow.  Then your tongue tells you that you have just eaten something kind of spicy.  It is kind of nice, to have that bite of something unexpected after all that sweet chocolate flavor.  It would be a fun cookie to make when you want to give someone a surprise!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Black Pepper Cookies
Cook time
Total time
An unusual chocolate cookie with ground black pepper.
Serves: 1-2 dozen
  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • 6 T. superfine sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 4 T. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet)
  1. Cream butter and sugars.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Fold in chopped chocolate pieces.
  5. Roll dough into a log, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Slice dough, roll into balls, and place on baking sheet. Flatten each slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.


3 thoughts on “Black Pepper Cookies

  1. em!

    This might be an amazing Halloween recipe for everyone but for me, I’m thinking, triple the pepper and serve them for April Fool’s. The final goal is to see just how many of my co-workers I can make hate me and therefore, stop wasting my time with their mindless, boring banter about their weekends or whatever the hell else. If they’re not talking to me about sex, drugs, or rock & roll (or work, I guess), then they’re wholly worthless and I don’t want them talking to my face.

  2. Monica A

    I need to try this recipe. I remember my mom making black pepper cookies when I was a little girl and the recipe got lost. She would glaze them in a sugar glaze when they came out of the oven, and didn’t flatten them, she left them in a ball. Thank you!

  3. C. L. Boyd

    There was a recipe for Chocolate Pepper Snap Cookies on a leaflet, “Chocolate Recipes from Ghirardelli Square,” that I picked up on a trip to San Francisco in the mid-1970s. It called for Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate and Cocoa instead of cocoa powder. Unfortunately that leaflet was lost. So I will try this recipe but substitute the Ghirardelli ground chocolate and cocoa and cut back on the sugar as instructed on the can and see how close they come to what I remember.


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