Baked Sunday Mornings: Lemon Pecorino Pepper Icebox Cookies

I was skeptical about this week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, "Lemon Pecorino Pepper Icebox Cookies." After all, the last time I made a lemon-cheese-black pepper recipe from the guys at Baked, it wasn't a great experience.

At least this recipe is pretty easy. You cream room temperature butter with powdered sugar and grated Pecorino Romano; add egg and an egg yolk, followed by salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice; and incorporate flour. You shape the dough into a log and chill it before slicing. I made the dough the night before I had to go on a business trip, so I wrapped it well and left it in the freezer for five days while I was away.
I tried slicing the dough directly from the freezer, and it was frozen so hard that it was impossible to cut. I moved the log of dough to the fridge to soften a bit. From the fridge, I didn't have any problems slicing the dough in rounds and rolling the edges in coarse sugar. I baked the cookies until they were just beginning to brown around the edges.

The cookies were speckled with bits of black pepper and I thought they were pretty. But I didn't think they tasted all that great. When taking a bite, the first flavor I got was strong and sweet lemon, followed by cheese, with the spiciness of pepper coming in at the end. I liked the cookies better than the lemon-pepper quiche, but that's faint praise. I definitely would have preferred these as straight lemon cookies, because the combination of lemon, cheese, and black pepper just wasn't doing it for me.

The last sentence of the recipe headnote states that: "I promise you, though this is a strange marriage of sweet and savory, it is still very much a delicious cookie -- one you will make again and again." I'll give you "strange," all right. But there's no way I'm ever making these cookies again.

Recipe: "Lemon Pecorino Pepper Icebox Cookies" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "Baked Sunday Mornings: Lemon and Black Pepper Quiche," May 11, 2014,


Susan said…
I'm impressed that you tried them - I couldn't wrap my head around the idea. Although I did make Dorie Greenspan's Seaweed Sables. Come to think of it, that my be why I wasn't inclined to try these...
Unknown said…
They're weird, that's for sure. I don't think I would make them again either, but I liked them as kind of a cracker-type addition to a cheese board.
I didn't get to make these this week. But kudos for trying them.
Chelly said…
These are certainly different. I wasn't sure about the flavor combo either...I didn't think they would be eaten here so I just didn't bake them. Good for you for atleast giving them a try! They do look pretty!
Louise said…
I make a Maida Heatter lemon pepper bundt cake which is great. I might be inclined to try making these cookies without the pecorino.
Anonymous said…
Sorry to hear you didn't care for them. It looks like I was pretty much the only who did. They are definitely different, and I think I would cut back the pepper a little. Nevertheless, your cookies turned out very pretty!