Salt and Pepper Cookies

Salt and Pepper Cookies

November 26, 2015

I discovered these cookies during a cookie exchange, and fell in love with the sandy texture. I ate far too many, and you probably will too. With only one ounce of sugar, these Salt and Pepper Cookies satisfy your cravings as any sweeter cookie would. Bake them and enjoy the salt and spice. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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Makes 40 cookies
  • 1/2 cup 42.5 grams 1.5 ounces unblanched sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup 35.4 grams 1.25 ounces pecan pieces
  • ¼ cup 35.4 grams 1.25 ounces whole hazelnuts
  • ½ cup 99.2 grams 3.5 ounces superfine white sugar for sanding
  • ½ cup 113 grams 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • ½ teaspoon ½ teaspoon ½ teaspoon pure vanilla
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon 113 grams 4 ounces bleached all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ¼ teaspoon ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons 28 grams 1 ounce light brown sugar



  • To see how Mise en Place can benefit you, see The Finer Cookie’s post on why everyone should Mise en Place.
  • Measure the granulated sugar and assess whether the texture is superfine. Not all granulated sugars are ground the same. If you feel the need to reduce the size of the granules, whiz the white sugar in the food processor for a minute or so, until the sugar is very, very fine. This will make a difference in the finished cookie.
  • Combine the water and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Measure flour, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Measure the nuts and place them on one tray in separate piles.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees.
  • Measure the butter and set aside.
  • Measure the brown sugar into a bowl of a food processor.


  • Place the tray of nuts in the oven and toast them for 7-10 minutes.
Almonds, hazelnuts and pecans after they have been toasted.
Almonds, hazelnuts and pecans after they have been toasted.
  • When the nuts are toasted, remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • When cool enough to handle, take the skins off the hazelnuts in one of two ways: either put the hazelnuts in a dry towel and rub the skins off, or take each nut one at a time and peel the skin away with your fingers. The skins come off very easily after they are toasted.


  • Place the cooled toasted nuts into the food processor with the brown sugar, and process until the mixture is a fine powder.
  • Add the butter and process until smooth and creamy.
Adding butter to the nut and sugar mixture.
Adding butter to the nut and sugar mixture.
  • Add the water and vanilla and process until incorporated.
  • Scraping the sides of the bowl, add the flour, salt and pepper and pulse just until the flour disappears.
  • At this point, you can refrigerate the dough overnight or use it right away.
Cookie dough ready to rest in the fridge.
Cookie dough ready to rest in the fridge.


  • Set out the superfine sugar in a wide mouth bowl.
  • Using a small scoop or two spoons, remove a small amount of dough and shape it into date-like pieces about 1 3/4″ x 3/4″ and place them on the cookie sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.
  • Be sure to press the dough so that there are no cracks or air pockets, as they are very fragile after they are baked. Cracks or fissures in the unbaked dough will create difficulty for you when handling them once they are baked.


  • Bake the cookies at 350F for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. The cookies will feel set and very firm to the touch.


  • Let the baked cookies cool for a few minutes, until you are able to handle them.
Cookies are out of the oven.
Cookies are out of the oven.
  • While they are still warm, very gently lift them from the two short ends and again, being very gentle, toss them in super fine sugar. Repeat for a crunchier texture.
Adding the first layer of sugar.
Adding the first layer of sugar.

NOTE: The cookies will break easily if you lift them from the long end. When the cookies are cooled completely, dip them a second time.


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