Valerie Bertinelli’s Cherry Cookies Contain This Unexpected Ingredient That Gives Them a Kick

Now the owner of her own wine brand, Valerie Bertinelli knows a thing or two about what makes wine taste delicious. And she put those flavors into a cookie using two ingredients you probably would never think to put together — white pepper and cherries. But wow, do they work!

“[Bertinelli] gets inspiration from classic wine flavors and infuses them into her delicious white pepper cherry cookies!” the caption of a February 20 Food Network Instagram video reads.

Yes, white pepper! “I don’t want to see the flecks of pepper in my cookie, but I want to taste the pepper,” Bertinelli says in the video. “White pepper doesn’t have the bite that black pepper has.” And she uses dried tart cherries to cut down the sweetness of the cookie even more into something more zesty and savory, like red wine.

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The base recipe for the cookies is really similar to that of a traditional sugar cookie: sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and baking powder. But both the white pepper and dried cherries are mixed into the dough before baking, adding that extra punch.

And dough itself is really firm, so Bertinelli likes to roll it into a log and chill it for a few hours so she can use a serrated knife to cut the log into her cookies like those store-bought cut-and-bake treats. And before tossing the tray of cookies into the oven, Bertinelli sprinkles a bit more white pepper onto each one — “It’s got a subtle peppery flavor,” Bertinelli says. “Really kind of floral [which] just goes perfect in a cookie.”

The cookies are then baked until they’re just golden on the bottom edges and after they’re cool, you can have a couple and wash them down with your favorite variety of wine. They’re the ideal cookie for anyone who prefers tang over sweet and a little kick in all their foods. Grab Bertinelli’s full recipe from the Food Network website.

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