Top Pick Of The Week

March 3, 2009

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Chocolate Spice Cookies

These shortbread cookies are so good, we ate a dozen in a day. Shown above, Spicy Chocolate Cookies. The glass is “Canteen” by Bodum. All photography by Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Gourmet shortbread cookies.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Shortbread cookies with a different point of view. Beyond the butter, there’s black pepper, chile, espresso, green tea and sea salt. Two varieties can be enjoyed with cheese.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The wholesome beauty and beguiling flavor make these a favorite everyday cookie that also makes a special dessert when paired with a scoop of ice cream.

Emily’s Biscuits & Cookies:
Butter & Spice & Everything Nice

CAPSULE REPORT: We’re always on the lookout for a great butter cookie—the kind we used to bake when we had time. We wish we could take credit for recipes as fine as Emily’s, but her shortbread (a type of butter cookie) is more interesting than our own. Throw in some cornmeal, sea salt and pepper, and you’ve got some “biscuit” varieties that can be served as a sweet or a savory accompaniment.

This is not merely a tea and cookies shortbread, although you can be as traditional as you like. But there are Black Pepper Maize Biscuits to enjoy with hors d’oeuvres or cheese, Green Tea Biscuits to pair with saké, Chocolate Espresso Cookies that are perfect with after-dinner coffee, Spicy Chocolate Cookies for your Pinot Noir and Vanilla Sea Salt Cookies that go well with anything.

The recipes are perfection. At first bite, comparing Emily’s to other butter cookies, you might think you want more butter or a pinch more sugar. Then you realize the genius of Emily: Less is more (although not in the eating—we polished off a dozen in short order).

The handsome, 2-1/2 inch diameter cookies look elegantly homemade, with a large fork print impression in the center. The line is egg- and nut-free.* Read the full review below. You’d enjoy it even more with a plate of Emily’s biscuits and cookies. Order generously for gifts.

*And made with equipment that is never used with nuts, although there may be nuts in the production facility.

THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


Bake Your Own Cookies With These Five-Star Recipes

Martha Stewart's Cookies Williams Sonoma Cookies Great Cookies - Carol Walter
Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share, by Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Bake the gamut from perennial favorites to the more creative, like peppermint meringue sandwiches and carrot cake cookies. Click here for more information or to purchase.
The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Cookies, by Marie Simmons. Time-honored favorites and fresh ideas by a double James Beard award-winning cookbook author. Full-color photos of each cookie make this book a delight to thumb through, even when you’re not in baking mode. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets, by Carole Walter. There’s something for every taste and occasion, from traditional favorites like Favorite Lemon Squares and Snickerdoodles, to the trail mix–inspired Teton Trailers and chewy Midnight Macaroons. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Emily’s Biscuits & Cookies: Butter & Spice & Everything Nice


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Introduction To Emily’s Biscuits & Cookies

In the annals of cookies, the butter cookie is a simple recipe of flour, sugar and butter. Vary the proportions and you get shortbread. Flour, sugar and butter plus some vanilla and salt (some recipes add an egg) make bites of buttery goodness. Emily Kiechel has evolved shortbread by adding nuances of flavor that transport this 16th century recipe into the 21st. Taste the complexities in each bite of her “simple cookies” and you’ll realize that all it takes is an artisan with a point of view to invigorate an entire category of food.

In fact, Emily doesn’t see shortbread as sweets, limited to tea, coffee or a glass of milk. She designed her cookies to pair with any number of foods, from cheese to wine.

But these are totally normal cookies, too. In fact, we made some exceptional ice cream sandwiches with Ciao Bella Gelato flavors. While there are many possible flavor combinations, we used:

  • Black Pepper Maize Biscuits and Bourbon
    Vanilla Gelato
  • Chocolate Espresso Cookies and Espresso
  • Green Tea Biscuits and Green Tea & White
    Chocolate Chunks Gelato

Emily's Cookies

From top to bottom: Espresso Chocolate, Green Tea, Black Pepper Maize, Vanilla Sea Salt and Spicy Chocolate. The line is egg-free and nut-free.

  • Spicy Chocolate Cookies and Valrhona Chocolate Gelato
  • Vanilla Sea Salt Cookies & Lemon Curd Gelato

There aren’t words to describe how good these were. We can only say, however you choose to eat Emily’s Biscuits and Cookies, your experience will be celestial.

Continue To Page 2: Flavors of Emily’s Biscuits & Cookies

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