Got our gas turned back on, so I made some cookies. Dropped the pepper, doubled the cinnamon, kept the sugar a bit below 1/2c, turned out alright. Used some fancy pants imported irish brand of butter that K likes, which seems to be much softer at any given temperature than most american brands of butter I'm used to. Normally that's great for spreading on things, but I think it's suboptimal for butter cookies --- it just makes them that much harder to handle quickly enough before the dough gets smushy. They still turned out fine, just lost their shape a bit.