Don’t let the black pepper scare you, these cookie bars are just as delicious as any other cookie bars, if not better! With strawberries and pistachios in the mix how can you resist?
Black pepper in a cookie bar? You may think I have officially lost my mind but quite the contrary, you can barely taste it. Believe it or not but a friend told me that these taste like fruity pebbles. I cannot explain how this happened but being that this non-dessert loving friend of mine went a bit crazy over these, I’m gonna put that down as a win. There certainly is a lot going on in these, with strawberries, pistachios, freshly ground black pepper, and a little bit of fiori di Sicilia (which if you’ve never heard of is a mixture of citrus and vanilla extract). I bet it was the combination of strawberries and fiori si Sicilia that resulted in the fruity pebble flavor.
These cookies bars are actually the first in a line of my experimentation with flavor combinations, mostly revolving around fresh herbs. The same day these were made, a different friend and I also made a blackberry sage cookie bar but unfortunately there was too much moisture from the berries and they turned into molten lava cookie bars after sitting overnight. Which doesn’t sound like a horrible outcome and honestly, it was pretty freaking fantastic served warm with ice cream on top. But it was not cute in photographs, so that recipe needs to be tweaked a bit before I can unveil it.
One year ago: DIY Gold Confetti Napkins
Two years ago: Balsamic-Strawberry Bagel Bruschetta
Three years ago: Cast Iron Skillet Brussels Sprouts Bacon Pizza
Four years ago: Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Five years ago: Nutella Mousse
STRAWBERRY BLACK PEPPERCORN PISTACHIO COOKIE BARS
Makes 16 bars
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp Fiori di Sicilia Extract
3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries, dried of excess moisture on paper towel
3/4 cup shelled roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper in the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking pan and grease the sides.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat melted butter and sugars together until creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in egg and extract. Add flour mixture until combined. Fold in strawberries and pistachios. Dough will be thick and sticky.
- Spread dough out evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middles comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before cutting.
Source: Adapted from my White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookie Bars.
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