Chocolate Pepper Cookies with Matcha Frosting

In Chocolate, Cookies, Frostings and Icings on January 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm
From Adriana Baking

It’s good to be back at school. Though every second upon waking up this morning seemed to pass by much too quickly, school was nothing to dread. Kicking off my warm covers and jumping out of bed at six forty-five was a dive back into the deep waters of familiarity. Walking to school in the early morning with a heavy bag and my clarinet case in hand is what I’ve known for the past five months, and it felt right to be reacquainted with routine.

As much as I love to spend time alone reading books or toting a camera around and capturing moments of life, I do enjoy the company of others. I walked into school today and greeted my friends with a shining smile – I’d missed them. Throughout winter vacation I’d spent most of my time at home with family, with the exception of a couple of days.

From Adriana Baking

G- came over a few days after the end of school, and I shared my passion for baking with her. Together, we made chocolate crinkle cookies and sea-foam candy, preparing for the Christmas baking I like to start early. We talked about people at school and our plans for the rest of the vacation, and licked powdered sugar off the tips of our fingers, laughing frequently. She always manages to put a smile on my face and find joy and laughter in everything imaginable. But our day together was bittersweet. No matter how many smiles and laughs we shared, the prospect of her move loomed over our heads, a patch of dark gray clouds marring the golden sunshine that had perfected our day. She’s here until the end of the month, but I can’t bear the thought of her leaving.

I joked with G- that when we’re both in college, we’ll meet up and drink coffee in a nearby shop with a red and white striped awning and recount our times together. Pure fantasy? Maybe, but I like to dream. I hope that our friendship will last through daily emails and frequent Skype dates, and that one day, we really will meet again.

And it is very possible that we’ll see each other later, even though she’s moving to the other side of the world.

From Adriana Baking

A week before school started, I received a call from my friend S-. The summer before eighth grade, she moved away to New York City, and I hadn’t seen her since. She had been close to me from the beginning of middle school, and I  missed her dearly. It was seven in the evening when she phoned, and though it was late and she didn’t arrive at my doorstep – grown and two years older with sparkling eyes – until eight o’clock, I had never been more excited to stay up late. We walked around the neighborhood and talked throughout the night, reminiscing. I had never had so much to say nor was so willing to listen to anyone. She told me about New York, and I talked to her about school while we marveled in awe at the pure perfectness of the moment.  When I sank into bed at an hour near midnight with a permanent smile drawn on my lips, elated with the promise of seeing her again the next day, I couldn’t have imagined being happier.

From Adriana Baking

And then there is T-, who I’ve known since fourth grade. She called one day with an impromptu invitation to spend the day with her. Though the afternoon was simple, it was so special. We spent time downtown, sipping hot chocolate and nibbling on French macarons.

I spent time with my closest friends these past weeks, friends that I hope I will stay close to until I’m grown. Just like these chocolate pepper cookies with matcha frosting, my winter vacation was different from any vacation I’ve ever had, in the best possible way.

The cookies themselves are not very sweet. They’re crunchy and slightly chocolaty, with a kick of pepper. And the matcha frosting balances the sweetness wonderfully, lending them a delicate green tea flavor.

From Adriana Baking
From Adriana Baking

[PS: I wouldn’t normally ask, but the 2011 Bloggies are now accepting nominations, and I’m eligible to run for Best New Blog. If you find my blog worthy of a nomination, I invite you to visit the link. You can also nominate other blogs that you enjoy reading for different categories  🙂 Thanks]!

Salt-N-Pepper Sandwich Cookies

From Baked Explorations

3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
2 teaspoons white pepper (I used black with no problems)
¼ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, cool but not cold
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces good quality dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, fleur de sel, pepper, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, and add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and beat until uniform in color. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for 10 seconds.

Add half of the dry ingredients and beat for 15 seconds. Again, scrape down the bowl, add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated.

Loosely shape the dough into two balls, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unwrap one ball of dough and divide into two equal portions. Place the first portion on a lightly flour-dusted surface and return the other half to the fridge.

Use your hands to knead the dough until pliable and form into a small disc. Roll the dough into a ¼-inch-thick round. I will still be slightly sticky, so you may have to flip and lightly flour it a few times while you work. Transfer cut cookies to cookie sheets, leaving about one inch of space around each cookie.

Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time. The tops of the cookies will look a bit dry and possibly cracked. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.

Matcha Frosting
Adapted from Savory Sweet Life via 17 and Baking

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon matcha (green tea powder)
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Beat the butter in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed for a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar and matcha. Stir on the lowest speed possible (or give it a few turns first by hand to avoid sugar flying everywhere) until the sugar is incorporated into the butter. Then beat on medium speed and add the vanilla extract and salt. Beat for 3 minutes, then beat in a tablespoon of milk, adding more (or less) if necessary. More milk will make a thinner frosting, more sugar will make a stiffer frosting. Spoon the frosting onto one cookie and top with another.

From Adriana Baking
  1. Thanks for sharing about your winter break. It seems like it was a good one.
    As a teen living overseas as well, I think I can relate with friends moving out of country and things.

    As for the cookies, they look adorable. I love using matcha in anything! Beautiful, as always!

  2. hey 🙂
    your photos are just sooo good!!!

    i hope you have fun at school, here in germany it will start on monday…

  3. The cookies look so yummy 🙂 Glad you had a great winter break! I love your pictures as usual 🙂 How do you always get your lighting so perfect? I have so many issues with lighting!

  4. Hi Adriana,

    I just found your blog through foodgawker. I love your writing and photographs. Your passion for baking and adventurous recipes are really inspiring. When I was your age, I was a very picky eater and didn’t even know what matcha was. Great work and keep up with the delicious and creative recipes! 🙂

  5. I’m missing the routine of school/uni, but I still have two months left of my summer holidays. The cookies look beautiful, and I love the flavour combination!

  6. What a beautiful blog! These cookies are calling my name 🙂

  7. You have such a talent for writing! Awesome cookies too!

  8. I’m so into these Salt N’ Pepper sandwich cookies. Beautiful photos!

  9. so delicious! and so good looking!

  10. yum! those look delicious!

  11. These look amazing! So delicious. And I love your photos!

  12. Yummilicious looking cookies and stunning photos!

  13. I have wanted to bake with Matcha for a very long time, these look perfect. I have defiantly experienced what you’re going through one of my best friends moved to Japan but we made it through with tons of Skype dates. I’m glad you’re enjoying being back in school, the familiarity is something I like too. I will defiantly vote for you!!

  14. this means a lot. You’re amazing! ❤

  15. […] I stole the cake recipe from my baking idol, Joy the Baker , but I threw in some white chocolate chips and made them cupcakes instead. The icing recipe came from here. […]

  16. […] I stole the cake recipe from my baking idol, Joy the Baker, but I threw in some white chocolate chips and made cupcakes instead. The icing recipe came from here. […]

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