12 November 2009
I wanted to make Tartine's glazed gingerbread when I woke up last Sunday morning. It was cold and rainy (shockingly) and I knew I needed to make a treat for teatime at a friends. The problem was that I didn't have ginger or cloves- two of the most important ingredients! So instead of gingerbread, I made black pepper spice cookies with plenty of salt and a light glaze. They were amazingly soft and satisfyingly spicy, salty and sweet. I burned the hell out of one batch and we are still can't stop ourselves from eating them. But then, we are pigs.
Make the dough one day in advance for best results, or bake it right away and it's still great.
Black Pepper Spice Cookies with Glaze
3 3/4 cups AP flour
1 T cocoa powder
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp cardamom
1 1/2 tsp Jamaican allspice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
2 T honey
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 T water
Beat butter until creamy, and then add sugar and mix until smooth. Scrape bowl with a spatula and then add the egg. Next in, molasses and honey. Mix until blended, and scrape down the bowl again. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, spices, cocoa and baking soda. Slowly add this into the wet mix. Beat on low until a ball forms. At this point, you can either refrigerate the dough overnight or chill it for 20 minutes like I did. I'm sure its better if you let it sit overnight (it makes a world of difference with chocolate chip cookies).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flour your work surface and roll out dough to about 1/3 inch thick in the shape of a rectangle. You may now cut out cookies as I did, or gently roll over the whole thing with a patterned rolling pin. And if you have a patterned rolling pin, send it to me immediately and never expect to see it again! Cut the pattered dough into tiles that are 3" by 4", or whatever size you prefer. I made both teardrop cookies and circle cookies, and then I rolled over them with a fake ear of corn for texture. You can roll whatever textured items you may have laying around the house over the dough! This comes into play when you glaze the cookies and the glaze nestles into the pattern quite beautifully.
Place a sheet of parchment paper over your cookie sheet, and bake the cookies for about 7 minutes. I did one batch for 10 minutes and the bottoms were burned. The next batch I baked for a mere 7 minutes and they were slightly underdone. When they cooled down, they were perfect.
While the cookies bake, whisk together confectioners sugar and water for the glaze. After you take the cookies out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes and then brush the glaze over the cookies. Do not freeze these, though I don't know why you would even try.
Serve with coffee, or on the rim of a Guiness float with vanilla ice cream!
I can't wait to make them again.