Vegan Chocolate Pepper Cookies

Remember Chocolate Snaps?

My mom once bought me a box as a reward for getting an allergy shot. They weren’t in our usual cookie repertoire, but the pharmacy near the clinic sold them and since we liked the kitty on the box, we bought them. Sadly the cookies had a funny taste to them which I now know to be coconut. I remember being mad that Nabisco would hide yucky coconut in a chocolate cookie then put a cute kitty on the box to lure  kids. I avoided chocolate snaps for the rest of my childhood, then one day, I think I was a teenager by then, I was absolutely starving and all that was around was Chocolate Snaps, I ate some and realized I loved them.  Then of course when I realized I loved them, they were discontinues.  Or at least that’s what I suspect because I never saw them again.

I was craving chocolate snaps today and decided to play around. What I came up with was…

1. Nothing like chocolate snaps
2. Very good
3. Vegan!
4. Can be cut in half if you are hesitant

The pepper was a fun addition and it did keep with the theme of hiding “yucky” things in chocolate cookies. But you may want to leave it out if you’re not into a little heat with your chocolate.

Mine looked like this. If you try it, let me know. What’s great is it’s a stir and bake recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Pepper Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour (4.5 oz) – spoon and sweep if you don’t have a scale
1/3 cup dark coca powder (Dutch Process) (1 oz)
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 scant teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup (white corn syrup probably okay)
1/3 scant cup vegetable oil (1/4 cup yields a thicker, dryer cookie, but is okay)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped up dark chocolate (vegan)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium size mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, black pepper, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a second bowl, mix together the sugar, syrup, oil, vanilla and water

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until almost mixed, then add chocolate and stir until flour mixture is fully absorbed and chocolate is distributed.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (you should get 12) onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute on sheet, them move to a rack to cool completely.

Makes 12

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  1. Sue says

    Hello Anna!

    I was very amused and pleased by your plastic wrap test. Thanks for doing that and writing about it!

    Now for a question. Which brand of cocoa powder did you use? I seem perpetually confused by this ingredient so I read what they had to say about it here.

  2. says


    I hope you try it at some point. I need a second opinion.

    Sue, talking about cocoa powder is almost as exciting as talking about flour. Really!

    I use the brands that the store down the street sells. If I go to Central Market or Whole Foods, I may splurge on more expensive cocoa such as Valrhona and if I make an order from Penzey’s, I’ll buy theirs. But most days I use these brands.

    Dutch: Hershey Dark European Style. It’s very dark. It doesn’t have a very sophisticated flavor, but it’s inexpensive and people like it. It’s like a house wine.

    Natural: Hershey’s Natural and Ghirardelli Natural. Again, both are sold at the store down the block and they aren’t very expensive.

    Guittard Natural: I just bought some of this in bulk today, but haven’t tried it.

    Are you confused about the acidity vs. alkalinity?

    The way I understand it is this:

    Natural = Acidic
    Dutch Process = Neutral (stripped of acids)

    In some recipes, the acid in the natural cocoa reacts with the baking soda to help the cookie rise properly. If you used Dutch, which is neutral, you wouldn’t have enough acid to react with the soda to help the cookie rise.

    So if a recipe calls for natural cocoa powder, you need to be mindful when substituting Dutch because you might be forfeiting some of the acid the cookie needs to rise properly. However, if the cookie contains baking soda and/or baking powder (an acid), you can usually be sure the cookie will rise with any kind of cocoa because the leavening is not reliant on the acid from the cocoa.

    In some things, it doesn’t matter because there might be another acidic ingredient to help the leavening.

  3. Sue says

    Thank you! I think I’m going to put this information in my kitchen where I can easily find it when I’m not sure exactly which kind of cocoa I’m supposed to be using.

    When I buy cocoa for hot beverages I buy Droste cocoa, but it isn’t available at the grocery store that is closest to my house. I don’t think that grocery store has any Dutch cocoa! The next time I go I’m going to look more closely for the Hershey Dark European Style. Maybe they do have it, and I’ve looked past it!

    Thanks again!

  4. KAnn says

    I am thinking about trying this with pinch of cinnamon rather than the I am now a vegan, I do appreciate this recipe! I really have come to love chocolate and cinnamon.

  5. says

    These look exceptionally good. I’ll be trying them soon.

    By the way, I LOVED chocolate snaps when I was a kid!! I’d forgotten about them until I saw your link to the box.

  6. says

    ooh, yummy! I’ve never had chocolate snaps, but peppery cookies sound *wonderful*. Also I love that the small recipe can be halved, I could definitely get behind making 6 deep chocolate cookies some night!

  7. Ansie says

    Just made the cookies, they were really delicious!! For the pepper, I used a grounder. It wasn’t as fine. But worked wonderfully. The pepper gives it a real special taste…. mmmm….

  8. says

    My partner just made a batch and they are yummy! I never heard of pepper in a chocolate cookie before. Brilliant! 🙂

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