My family loves this time of year.
Cooking lunch or dinner outside on the grill.
Sitting together on the porch, enjoying the splendor of the night sky while reminiscing about the past.
Playing croquet, Badmitton and Frisbee, or simply going swimming.
Summer, which seems to be gone in a flash, is a hectic, but fun time.
Life moves fast while creating memories, and many times the food has to be just as fast, spicy and memorable.
Readers of this blog are familiar with my Grandma Iva's cooking high jinks.
When she accidentally discovered how good pepper and chocolate tasted together in Black Pepper Jack Cake, she created Chocolate Zing Cookies.
These aren't your normal "kiddie" chocolate chip cookies, these have a not-too-hot but just-right mocha-chocolate "zing."
In a large aluminum bowl, cream together 1/2-cup each of butter and peanut butter with 1-cup packed brown sugar, 3/4-cup white sugar, 2 large eggs, 1-tablespoon each of vanilla extract and instant coffee granules until really smooth. Add 2 1/2 cups all-purpose sifted flour, 1/2-teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda and 1-teaspoon ground white pepper.
Add 1-cup each of semisweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter chips and 1/2-cup each of chopped almonds and pecans to the batter.
Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place the dough in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before rolling it into as many 2-inch balls (using confectioners sugar on your hands) as you can. Place the dough balls on a greased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes until done.
Take out and place on baking racks to cool.
To add a little more zing to the cookies, melt a 1/2-cup of chocolate chips (using white chocolate is a decorative choice) with a teaspoon of butter in the microwave to drizzle over the cookies. Sprinkle lightly with your choice of white pepper or fresh cracked black peppercorns.