The Simple Spice To Take Holiday Gingerbread Cookies To A New Level

With the start of the holiday season, it's time to start bringing out your favorite seasonal recipes. For many people, Christmas means that it's time to bake cookies with your family, and there are so many cookie options from which to choose. Decorating Christmas cookies is a fun activity, and this recipe for classic Christmas cookies provides the perfect base for lots of frosting and plenty of sprinkles. Prefer chocolate to sugar cookies? These chocolate crinkle cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth. But if you aren't looking for a super sweet cookie, then gingerbread cookies are your best seasonal bet. With a variety of spices, these cookies have a bit of a savory bite with all the goodness of a dessert.

If you want to put a major twist on your gingerbread cookies this year, try Wolfgang Puck's secret ingredient for gingerbread cookies: blue cheese. According to Puck, this combination has a balance of spice and salt. But blue cheese can be a divisive ingredient, and there's another common spice drawer staple you can use to jazz up your gingerbread. People reported that Neall Bailey, the executive chef of Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, uses ground black pepper in his gingerbread cookies, and this extra spice will set your gingerbread apart.

Here's why you should add pepper to your gingerbread cookies

Worried that the black pepper will outshine the ginger in your cookies? The flavors ginger and pepper will actually complement each other. According to People, Chef Neall Bailey puts fine ground black pepper in his gingerbread cookies in order to "give a subtle lift to the dried ginger and add a little nuance."

Pepper isn't the only non-traditional spice you can add to your gingerbread cookies. For anyone who loves their food hot and spicy, Food Network has a recipe for gingerbread cookies that also includes cayenne pepper. But not all additions to gingerbread need to be spicy. Kardea Brown's unusual ingredients for gingerbread include mint, and she's also added mace, which comes from nutmeg shells, to her gingerbread cookies.

Now that you've got some inspiration, how will you elevate your gingerbread cookies this year? Besides baking gingerbread cookies to serve as a dessert, you might also be baking gingerbread to build gingerbread houses. For anyone who wants to skip the baking and go straight to the building, Costco's gingerbread houses are back in stores.