Herbs in the Cookie Jar: Black Pepper Chocolate Balls

| October/November 1995

Makes about 13 dozen

When we are serving several hundred people, we always turn to these spicy cookies. They are guaranteed to feed and please the multitudes, and they also store and ship well.

• 1 cup cocoa
• 2 cups packed brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon ground cloves
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3 tablespoons baking powder
• 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
• 2 cups milk
• 5 1/2 to 6 cups flour
• 1/2 cup ground nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add the butter and milk, mixing thoroughly. Stir in enough flour to form a firm dough (as you stir, check to see whether the dough is firm enough to hold its shape). The dough will appear shiny and wet, even when enough flour has been used.

3. Stir in the nuts. Roll the dough into small balls and place them on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on racks.

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