Italian Chocolate Pepper Cookies
Chocolate Pepper Cookies
You know how coffee gives chocolate that wonderful mocha taste? That's what pepper does for these cookies. In fact the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of black pepper and I increased it by another teaspoon, just for a little more kick. You don't actually taste pepper, but it gives the cookie that little boost that makes you wonder "what is that taste"?
There are several different versions among the Italian families here where I live in northeast Pennsylvania, but this is the recipe that was given to me and like I said in previous hubs, I don't like to mess with treasures like these recipes.
The chopped walnuts, the raisins and glaze that surrounds this fuggy type cookie makes this it special.
This is one of those recipes that is handed down from generation to generation. It comes from my husband's side of the family. It was originated in Sicily, where my mother-in-law comes from. Montadoro, Sicily. The first time I tasted it was the first Christmas that I was dating my husband. Then when we got married, his mother and aunt made a whole tray of Italian cookies and these were among them. I hope you get a chance to experience this fuggy little decadent cookie. Mangiare bene!
- Add all the dry ingredients. You may need more flour. If the dough still sticks to your hands then add a little flour, about 1/4 a cup, at a time and mix well. Only add flour till the dough no longer sticks to your hands.
- The baking powder should be heaping; the cookies come out lighter.
- These cookies can be made weeks ahead of time and frozen. Ice them when they come out of the freezer and defrosted.
- If this is too much, you can easily cut the recipe if half.
Photos of Chocolate Pepper Cookies
The glaze is the same as for the White Italian Cookies. It is simply a box of 10X or Confectioner's sugar, a full teaspoon of corn starch and a full teaspoon of Crisco and enough milk to make a thin glaze, mixed with you hands so you can tell if all the Crisco is dissolved.
IMPORTANT: After the cookie feels dry on top, turn them around and let them dry on the bottom. It will take several hours (if you ice them in the evening you can leave them out over night) for them to be completely dry or they will stick together when you pack them away.
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups butter, room temperature
- 10 cups flour
- 1 3/4 cups cocoa
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons black pepper, not freshly ground
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup raisins
- 10 heaping teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cocoa, pepper and baking powder.
- In a large bowl or pot, with a beater, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy; add eggs and milk and beat.
- Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, beating in between until it gets too hard with the beaters. Then mix the rest of the dry ingredients by hand. Add the raisins and nuts and mix by hand again.
- The dough should not stick to your hands, if it does just add a little more flour.
- Roll the cookies into about 1" balls onto greased cookie sheets. You can make them a little larger if you like. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes or until they are done to the touch.
- Cool completely then make the glaze (recipe above) by immersing the entire cookie in the glaze. I actually dump a bunch of them right in the bowl of glaze and then put them on clean cookies sheets or trays to dry completely.
More about Prep time
The time above reflects how long it takes to make the cookie dough, it doesn't count how long it takes to roll the cookies onto the cookie sheets. It helps to have a some one, even a child to help roll the cookies. It is very easy.