Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Italian Pepper Cookies

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Today I'm sharing my Nonni's Italian Pepper Cookie.  Can you guess the secret ingredient?  Yes, it really is black pepper.  These cookies were a part of my upbringing and one of my favorites. 

Italian Pepper Cookies | Cooking on the Front Burner

Not only were they made at Christmas time but also for other special occasions - showers, anniversary parties, baptisms, communions, and especially weddings.  When I got married back in the day, I remember all my aunts baking, then hauling trays to my mom's house and making up cookie baskets that we set out on each table... really fun memories (and not to mention very delicious)!

Italian Pepper Cookie

by Deb Attinella
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Yield:  about 3 dozen
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 lb raisins
  • 1.5 well beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crisco
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • milk as needed
  1. Place raisins in pan, cover with water and boil then drain
  2. Beat crisco and sugar in a large bowl
  3. Then add dry ingredients (mixture will be dry)
  4. Add eggs, vanilla, raisins and nuts.
  5. Add enough milk to soften (about 1/2 cup; add slowly)
  6. Mix well then roll in small balls (walnut size ) and press slightly on center.
  7. Bake on greased cookie sheet (or parchment paper) at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
  8. I just made icing by combing powdered sugar and milk, dipped in tops and used colored sprinkles
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Don't let the pepper scare you off!  These have a mild bite and the cocoa in them makes them nice and chocolately.

Italian Pepper Cookie | Cooking on the Front Burner #italianchristmascookies

I've made one batch this season and may need to do another!  They are quickly disappearing!


  1. Isn't fun recreating cookies from our childhood? I've never had black pepper cookies! But I think I'd love them! Fabulous cookies Deb and I love your new blog look!

  2. First time hearing of this type of cookie. Sounds delicious!

  3. Just YUM. My Italian Hubs is drooling with me. They look delicious AND beautiful. Pinning of course! :)

  4. What pretty pictures, Deb! Love these! Could I make them without the raisins?

    P.S. Your new site design looks fab :)

  5. I'm intrigued by this recipe Deb. Never had black pepper in sweet cookies before. Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe. :)

  6. These cookies remind me of something similar my grandmother used to make - they look wonderful, Deb! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us - pinning and buffering! Hope you have a fantastic Wednesday!

  7. Your site looks great, I love the changes :) The cookies look delicious, yum!

  8. Oh My - Deb, the new blog's look is gorgeous! Just like these cookies. They look beautiful with those sprinkles ; ) And the black pepper sounds like a really interesting addition, I have to try these!
    Pinning and have a lovely day!

  9. Deb, I'm sure your Nonni would be very happy that you're carrying on the tradition of baking her cookies. Thanks for sharing this special family recipe. Plan to pin these!

  10. I've never heard of a black pepper cookie before but thanks for sharing. They sound wonderful!

  11. These look so beautiful - I love this recipe and this type of cookie. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I am intrigued...can't wait to try these over the holidays! And they're so pretty too!


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