Lemon and Black Pepper Slice-and-Bake Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup loosely packed, finely grated lemon zest (from about 4 medium lemons)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, zest, baking powder, pepper and salt in a medium bowl to break up any lumps; set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.

Return the mixer to medium speed, add the egg and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with the rubber spatula.

Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add in the reserved flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide it in half. Roll each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

When ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place the rounds about 1/2 inch apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper (about 20 cookies per sheet).

Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom and bake until the edges of the cookies are firm but the tops are still soft, about 6 to 7 minutes more.

Place the baking sheets on wire racks and let them cool for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 40 cookies.

— Aida Mollenamp via Chow.com

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