It's the most wonderful time of the year! Wait...is it? Is it really the Christmas season? With 17 days to go, I guess it is! It approached quickly and then with all the unseasonably warm weather NYC has had, it hasn't seemed like it SHOULD be Christmas. The cold weather I woke up to this morning definitely helped to reassure me that indeed, it's Christmastime!
The lights that are up and the Christmas decorations in store windows and on houses also help get me in the Christmas spirit.
And the holiday music playing in stores helps.
And the elves making my bed. Wait, what? There are no such things as elves? Well that explains why my bed and room are so messy!
1-1/2 cups flour, plus additional for dusting the work surface
3/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cool, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (1-1/2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided use
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1) Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.
2) Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat butter to soften, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. If mixture is gritty beat an additional 2 minutes.
3) Beat in 3/4 teaspoon of pepper and all of allspice. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
4) Lightly dust work surface with flour and turn dough onto it. Roll into a 9-inch log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate about 3 hours.
5) Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Preheat to 375 degrees F.
6) Slice log into 1/4 inch-thick slices and place on sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 6 minutes then rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 6 more minutes until slightly puffed or springy to touch. Cool for 2 minutes in pans, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
7) Mix confectioners’ sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Sift mixture over completely cooled cookies. Yield: 3 dozen cookies.