I created these a long while back and brought them along to a picnic. I forgot all about them but my 3rd base-playing friend, LB, did not. She reminded me of how much she loved those cookies several times over the last year. So when it was time for her going-away party I figured I’d make them again. I went through all of my files, notes, pictures, but found no trace of how I made them. So I tried again…. at midnight before the party. I made some crumbly (but tasty) something that sort of resembled a cookie. Nope.
And then I remembered I’d created an espresso shortbread that had all the right texture and bite. So I woke up early and made a new batch based on these guys in a snap. They are vegan and gluten free but will satisfy anyone’s sweet (but not too sweet) tooth. They travel well and keep in the freezer for some time too.
Salt and Pepper Cocoa Cookies
2 cups blanched almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
6-8 green peppercorns
1-2 teaspoons flake salt (like Maldon Sea Salt)
Place the almonds and toasted walnuts in a food processor and blend until a fine powder. Add the cocoa and baking soda.
Add the oil and agave and blend until just combined. Add the pecans and pulse a few times. Place the dough in plastic wrap and roll into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour, until just firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. While the oven is preheating, prepare the pepper and salt. Smash the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or the dull side of a heavy knife. Place in a small bowl. Place a teaspoon of flake salt in another small bowl.
Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and slice into ovals about 1/2 inch thick. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper onto each cookie. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool completely before handling. They will firm up a bit more out of the oven as well.