In my current work in progress, Breaking Bread, my main character, Maya Kaminsky bakes a batch of her grandmother’s (Baba’s) pepper cookies. I thought it would be fun to share the recipe for them, since they are one of my favorite cookie varieties. This is a Russian, Eastern European cookie, so-named for the pepper and spices in the mix. It may sound like a strange combination, but trust me, these are amazing!
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
4 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
12 ounces chocolate chips
Melt butter in milk in small sauce pan.
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs together with oil.
Make a ‘well’ in the center of the blended ingredients and add beaten eggs and oil, melted butter and milk and mix to form dough.
Knead in the chocolate chips.
Form dough into small balls, (golf ball sized or smaller) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool completely before icing.
16 ounces confectioner’s sugar
milk (amount varies according to desired consistency of the icing)
Add milk to confectioner’s sugar a little at a time, to form icing. Icing consistency should be the similar to ketchup – pourable but not watery. You want it to coat the cookie and not run off but also not be creamy like cake icing.
Dip the tops of the cookies into the icing and let rest on cooling rack until icing sets completely. Enjoy!