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Holiday cookies: Lime and black pepper cookies

December 24, 2011 |  7:00 am

Lime and black pepper are frequently paired in savory dishes, as a flavoring for fish, for example. But Cookiecoverfor a sugar cookie? Food writer Katherine Nitsou thought she’d give it a try, and it’s a real winner.

They're among the 50 favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our "Holiday Cookies" e-book, which is on sale now.

All of them have been vetted by The Times' Test Kitchen, so you know they work. Download it on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook or via the iBookstore. Or go straight to the source.

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Lime and black pepper cookies

Total time: 45 minutes, plus chilling time

Servings: Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, at room temperature

2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lime zest (about 5 limes)

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Powdered sugar, for dusting the finished cookies

Black pepper, to garnish (optional)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the milk, vanilla and egg, and beat over low speed just to incorporate.

2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, lime zest, baking powder, pepper and salt, breaking up any lumps.

3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.

4. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log shape about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough log and slice crosswise into cookies one-fourth-inch thick. Place the cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake until a light golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Remove the cookies and cool on a rack. Dust the cooled cookies lightly with powdered sugar (and black pepper, if using).

Each of 48 cookies: 54 calories; 1 gram protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 10 mg. cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 29 mg. sodium.