Unglazed Black Pepper Cookies

I’ve been a dessert making fool lately and have been digging out all my old recipes. One that I have made lately is over 200 years old from Bari, Italy, and was in the recipes from my great great grandmother. Some people make these in the shape of little prezels and some people dip the cookie in a glaze made of confectionary sugar and milk. I like mine nekkid with a little sugar sprinkled on top and cookie shaped.:o)


  • 1 cup butter, or butter-flavor Crisco
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper    ( I like more pepper- 1-1 1/2 tsp is really good)
  • 1/3 cup milk

Serves / Yields

About 4 Dozen

Preparation Instructions

Cream the butter (or Crisco), sugar, and vanilla until light and creamy.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. It may be a bit stiff.

Shape into small balls, or drop from a teaspoon, onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Cool on rack.

Helpful Hints

12 minutes is preferable for a softer cookie.

The amount of pepper is adjustable to taste, but do not leave it out. It really is a subtle touch. Try it first, before adjusting the spices, and you will be surprised.