Adapted from Fine Cooking Cookies, 2009
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and blend well. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed just until the flour is absorbed. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth. Split the dough in half and flatten the halves into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes with a two inch round cutter (re-rolling scraps as needed). Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and on the bottoms, about 12 minutes (rotate the baking sheets half way through for even baking). Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets on wire racks. Makes about six dozen cookies.