No special history behind these cookies; I one day wanted to make something chocolate for my discerning friends back in Iceland and this recipe seemed to stand out as something different. In the end I think only one of the friends actually turned up for our coffee meeting and thus was the recipient of the entire batch of cookies.
Preheat oven to 350F/175C
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, ginger and cardamom
1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and white pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Stir together the sugar with all the spices in a small bowl; remove 1/2 cup to a pie plate or bowl on the side for dredging the cookies. Add cocoa to small bowl with remaining sugar/spice mixture meant for the cookie dough and stir to blend.
Beat butter in an electric mixer bowl until fluffy. Add the spiced cocoa mixture and beat until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, then add flour and baking powder at low speed until combined.
Form balls with about a tablespoon of dough. Roll them in the reserved sugar-spice mixture and arrange 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350F/175C for 12-15 minutes. Cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.