• Cracked pepper biscuits (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

A sweet biscuit with cracked peppercorns may sound a bit unusual, but rest assured these biscuits have an intriguing and delicious flavour with a slight kick. 






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (8 votes)

If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the peppercorns in a pepper grinder. Fresh strawberries are a great accompaniment.


  • 125 g (4½ oz) butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp mixed peppercorns
  • 110 g (4 oz/¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) spelt flour
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/⅓ cup) corn flour (cornstarch)
  • dextrose to sprinkle (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Beat the butter and rice malt syrup with an electric mixer until well combined, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary.

Crush the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Sift the flours into the butter mixture, add the peppercorns and mix on low speed until combined. Pop the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so, if it is too soft to roll.

Roll 2 teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on the prepared trays about 3 cm (1¼ in) apart. Flatten slightly with your fingertips and bake for 8–10 minutes, or until the biscuits are just starting to colour around the edges.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the dextrose, if desired, while still hot. Leave to cool on the trays.

These biscuits will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.


This recipe is from Incredible Bakes (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.