Black Pepper Cookies

This is an American recipe and these excitingly spiced chocolate cookies, with their sophisticated flavour and just a hint of pepper, are ideal to serve with afternoon tea or after-dinner coffee.

6 oz. plus

½ teaspoon butter f teaspoon freshly ground black pepper f teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence

8 oz. castor sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

6 oz. self-raising flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 oz. cocoa

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Lightly grease a baking sheet with ½ teaspoon of butter.

Put the butter, black pepper, cinna-mon, cloves and vanilla essence into a medium-sized bowl and mix together thoroughly, using a wooden spoon. Beating continuously, gradually add the sugar and then the egg. Beat until the mixture is light and creamy.

Sift the flour, salt and cocoa into Delicious with after-dinner coffee, Black Pepper Cookies have an excitingly spicy flavour. the butter mixture. Mix the ingredients together until they form a firm dough.

Lightly flour your hands and roll small pieces of the dough into balls about

1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on the baking sheet, leaving

1 ½ inches between each one. Using the heel of your hand, gently flatten the dough balls to about

½ inch thickness.

Put the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

After removing the cookies from the oven, lift them gently off the baking sheet and transfer them to a wire cake rack.

Cool before serving.

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