wienerstube cookie

There are times when I think, "Do I want some dark chocolate or do I want a cookie?"

That would be at 3 PM, everyday.

This Austrian cookie— translated: Viennese café— combines the two quite nicely.  There is unsweetened cocoa powder, lots of butter, and then an intriguing combination of spices, including freshly ground black pepper and pinch of cayenne. I love the spicy, crunchy, buttery and chocolately nature of this cookie.  My first batch was tasty, though not much to look at (think black, rectangular biscuit),

and so I made it more festive by rolling it in granulated sugar and adding some shimmering sugar on top.

Try to stop at just one!

Wienerstube Cookies
from Cookies, by Maida Heatter

Printable Recipe

1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon finely, freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Valrhona)
6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, cayenne and cocoa, and set aside.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter.  Add the vanilla and sugar and beat well. Beat in the egg to the mix.  On low speed, gradually add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beating only until thoroughly mixed.

Tear off a strip of wax paper about 16 inches long.  Place the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls down the length of the paper, forming a heavy strip about 10 inches long.  Fold the long sides of the paper up around the dough.  Pressing against the paper with your hands, shape the dough into an even oblong about 12 inches long and 2¾ inches thick.  Wrap the dough in the paper.  Slide a cookie sheet under the paper and transfer the dough to the freezer or refrigerator for several hours until firm.

Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds, and preheat oven to 375ºF.  Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Unwrap the firm dough.  Place it on a cutting board, and with a sharp knife, cut the dough into ¼-inch slices.  Place the slices 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back to ensure even baking.  The cookies are done when the tops spring back when pressed with a fingertip.  Do not overbake.

Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.


  1. This cookie looks very interesting with all the spices! With two kinds of peppers in it, it should almost have a spanish name, not a German one! The decorative sugar was definitely a nice touch!

  2. I made these! Delicious! Although I think I would put in a little more spice next time -- the hint I got was not enough for my taste. Mine looked like 200 times worse than yours, too. Merry Christmas, Rebecca! Have a BLAST with the Sister and the Nephew!! :)

  3. Shannon, I'm glad you tried them. I was surprised that I liked them so much.

    When you wrote about more spice, were you referring to all the spices, or any one in particular? Merry Christmas to you and all your boys! (Yes, that would include Pete.)


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