Big kudos to my baking buddy, G, who has a gift for choosing good cookie recipes to bake. During our recent baking session, out of the hundreds of cookie recipes in my 528 page cookie cookbook (King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion), G chose Chocolate Wakeups. These crunchy edged, tender center shortbread chocolate cookies are highlighted by cinnamon with a touch of heat from black pepper and cayenne pepper, and the sprinkling of turbinado sugar on top gives them an extra crunch. And if that’s not tempting enough, these are easy and fast to make.
(from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)
Makes 5 dozen cookies
My notes are in [ ] below. I also rewrote some parts of the recipe to be more in line with the order that I like to mix together my ingredients.
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
Pearl sugar or turbinado sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
- In a medium size bowl, stir together the cocoa and flour until well combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, peppers, cinnamon, and salt.
- Beat in the egg to the wet ingredients.
- Add the flour-cocoa mixture to the wet ingredients and mix. The dough will be very stiff.
- Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheets [I used a small cookie scoop.] . Lightly flatten the cookies to 1/4 inch thick with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar. [If you slightly grease/butter the bottom of the glass, the sugar will stick to a bit better.]
- If desired, press some pearl or coarse sugar onto the top of each cookie. [I sprinkled turbinado sugar on top, and I liked how it gave the cookies and extra crunch.]
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes. They won’t look any more brown than the raw dough, and they won’t feel done, but that’s the correct time and temperature. Remove the cookies from the oven, transfer them to a rack, and let them cool.