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Good Idea: Add Black Pepper to Chocolate Cookies

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Text and recipe from Where Flavor Was Born by Andreas Viestad (Chronicle, 2007).

"I grew addicted to chocolate pepper cookies when I was staying in Cape Town while writing this book. The addition of a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper gives the cookies real attitude and a nice peppery flavor: At the same time, the pepper also works as a flavor enhancer, so the cookies actually taste more chocolatey.

These are some moody cookies.
These are some moody cookies. Photo by Linda Xiao

"The secret is to find the right balance between sweet chocolate and pungent pepper. I like the cookies rather on the peppery side. Start by adding a little pepper and make one small batch to sample, then add more pepper to taste."

Don't mind if we do...

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South African Chocolate Pepper Cookies

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Makes 40 cookies
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped and divided
  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

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