Above: Photo by Catherine Charlebois

By Production Manager Catherine Charlebois

If someone told me that I’d be putting ground pepper and cayenne into Christmas cookies a week ago, I’d probably have laughed and walked away. That is, until I met these bad boys. Me being me and unable to handle spice, I was very skeptical when our very own Designer extraordinaire Zyre Hoskins boasted the tastiness that was this cookie recipe. However, upon further testing (with a lot of assistance from taste testers), this recipe has proven to be dangerously delicious. Similar to ginger snap cookies, minus the ginger and chock full of chocolatey goodness, these cookies are sure to kick your taste buds into high gear and gain approval to whatever holiday gathering or Christmas party you bring them to. Feel free to play with the cayenne, it brings up the heat on these cold dreary December nights.

Yum. By Catherine Charlebois.

Yum. By Catherine Charlebois.

Cookie Ingredients

3/4 cup Crisco vegetable shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp pepper

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/8 or 1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Or not, I’m not your mother.

2. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and cayenne for topping. Mix well and set aside.

3. For cookies, beat together shortening, butter and both sugars until creamy using an electric mixer or a plain ol’ spoon. Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add the next 6 ingredients, mixing well, then add the chocolate chips.

4. Roll dough into little balls, but don’t flatten them. Roll in topping and place them on your cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 7-10 minutes (depending on how big you made them) or until golden. The cookies should still be soft in the center. Let cool, remove and enjoy with a big glass of milk.

A sassy French Canadian with a penchant for puns and coffee, Catherine is The Nav’s Production Manager. Living out of her planner, she is always looking for ways to streamline the paper’s production. You can find her writing in The Nav and also at frozenconstellations.wordpress.com