I have this weird craving for cracked black pepper. That sweet spicy hit was perfect the other day in these cookies. It's based off a recipe I found somewhere on the web, but by the time I was done with it, the cookies didn't even resemble the original recipe. It's my usual method. Here's the recipe as close as I can remember.
Pepper Spice Shortbread
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. soda
1 t. fresh-ground black pepper, more if you like a real bite to your cookies
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. anise seeds, as crushed as you can get them without a spice grinder or mortar-n-pestle unit
1 1/2 t. fennel seeds, see above note
1/2 t. ground cloves
2 1/2 c. flour (use whole wheat if you want)
Heat oven to 375°. Spray a 9x13 cake pan and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, salt, soda, and spices. Beat until smooth and creamy, about three minutes on high. Stir in flour until mixed. Dump into cake pan, then even out and pat smooth. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until barely set. Let cool before cutting into bars and enjoying.