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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Broken-Hearted Chocolate Black Pepper Cookies

Valentines Day, many people shudder just at reading the words, much less speaking them. To me, it's overrated and an unfortunate way to have to tell someone you love them ... because you should be doing this every day, right?

Buying someone a dozen roses is the lamest excuse for a Valentines gift. Seriously, why would you listen to money-motivated companies telling you to buy inflated roses as your means of expression? If you really loved this person, you would put some thought into it. Or how about giving them a dozen roses in say, September just because you love them, not because a commercially exploited holiday says you should. All that said, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't turn down a dozen roses, should they be offered!

Cookies are a simple solution.  If you are in a happy relationship- forego the 'broken' and just give chocolate love. For those of you who definitely are NOT expecting a rose bouquet this year- why not have fun with this holiday. Let these cute, delectable chocolate black pepper cookies show your expressions for you. Complete with broken hearts, they are a conversation starter and if nothing else, will keep your cube-mates Fat and Happy. Try them with a glass of red wine, it really brings the black pepper to life!


Tips and techniques:  If you do not want to roll and cut out the cookies, simply form the dough into a log and roll in the sugar topping before wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating. Then take the log out and just slice into little circles.

The original cookie recipe came to me via my parents some years ago; I've recently found out this was a Martha Stewart recipe. I made a few slight modifications  by adding more pepper and also additions to the sugar topping, but props to Martha for sharing with all of us. 



Broken-Hearted Chocolate Black Pepper Cookies
1 1/2 cups flour (plus some for rolling out the dough)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 heaping Tbls finely ground coffee
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Coffee Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp finely ground coffee beans
pinch of cinnamon

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, pepper, ground coffee and the cinnamon; set aside. Cream the butter and sugar, add in the egg and vanilla.  Slowly add in the flour mixture, blend on medium until everything is combined. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap, place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Make the topping  by placing the sugar in a Cuisinart or blender, blend on high for a minute, this is to reduce the crystal size. Mix the sugar with the finely ground coffee beans and a pinch of cinnamon.

Remove from the fridge and cut into four sections. Working quickly with one section at a time, roll the dough out to desired thickness. Sprinkle flour under the dough as it is sticky and will get stuck to the surface. I like this cookie best thin and crispy so I roll the dough out to around 1/8". Try a couple and see what you like best.

Use a heart cookie cutter to cut out as many hearts as you can; place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Take a pairing knife and cut little rips in the heart. Or lightly hold the heart and just rip it. Sprinkle each cookie with a little of the sugar topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on a cookie rack.

2 comments:

  1. Dear Monique,

    These choco-pepper cookies are straight up rockin' the socks off all the folks here at the office. No joke, they're ridonkulously scrumptious. I'm pretty sure the diabetics even took some. Thank you; you and the sheer awesomeness of your skills. -dp-

    Oh, and I'm attempting to spread the good word of the holiness of these cookies: http://twitter.com/#!/WookyMonster/status/35816735487565825

    ReplyDelete
  2. These look so good! Love that you have added the black pepper as well. Hope you don't mind but thought this was too good not too share: http://thecerealdiner.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/happy-singles-appreciation-day-to-all.html

    ReplyDelete

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