These are something like a cross between a rum ball and a cake, with a special flavour deriving from chocolate, black pepper, cloves, allspice and cinnamon, not to mention brandy. You can use whisky or rum in place of the brandy, if desired.
These cookies were very good and really quite easy to make. I followed the recipe almost exactly. I didn't have brandy so I used Southern comfort. After the dough was mixed we couldn't really tast the SC so I added another 1-2 ounces even with that the flavour is not strong. I read the review about the glaze being the messiest part and I think I have a good solution. I was able to fit the entire batch onto two cookies sheets. I mixed the glaze in my biggest tupperware bowl. Then I set aside approximate 1/2 of the glaze. AFter the first sheet was done baking I put the balls into the tupperware bowl with the glaze and put the lid on the ball. Then I carefully tossed/rolled the balls around in the bowl. Then I poured them onto a cookies sheet with wax paper. I had to flip some of the balls over so the flattened side was on the bottom but other then a bit of chocolate glaze on two fingers it was not messy at all. Repeat with the second sheet and remainder of the glaze. So far only my daugther and I have taste tested but we both agree that they are great!! I will definately make these again but next time I will increase the amounts for the spices (we like things spicy!!) - 12 Jul 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
The glaze was the hardest and messiest part, and I didn't have enough for the whole recipe -- maybe I did something wrong? But the cookies were devoured! - 01 Aug 2001 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Oh, I had high hopes for these cookies, but they are almost not edible. The alcohol flavor is too much and there is really nothing to balance that out. - 20 Dec 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)