double chocolate cayenne cookies

My friends are good about having parties.  Not crazy parties – it’s usually an extended group of friends mingling and eating whatever food is on offer and taking sparing sips of the beverage of choice.  We might break into dance or someone might take out a guitar and serenade the rest, but it’s happy, low-key fun.  And… I am known for bringing baked goods to these parties.  It’s almost a tradition now, and definitely a challenge.  What to make next that won’t kill me with the effort but will feel special?  For yesterday’s party I found a delicious cookie recipe that I know I’ll make for years to come.

double chocolate cayenne cookie

Double Chocolate Cayenne Cookies (modified from this Foodbabbles recipe)

INGREDIENTS

Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (1 Ghiradelli 60% Cacao bar), melted

Filling

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (1 bar), chopped
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
cinnamon sugar, for dusting


DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.

Combine the butter, sugars and cocoa powder in a large bowl (or in stand mixer bowl), and beat on medium speed with electric or stand mixer for about 4 minutes.  If you’re using elbow grease… good luck.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until blended after each addition.  Add the vanilla along with the last egg. Continue mixing on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute.

Add the four ounces of melted chocolate and mix again until just blended, about 30 seconds.  Then mix in the flour mixture in two parts on low speed, waiting until first half is incorporated before adding the rest.

Using an ice cream scoop or a Tablespoon measure, shape the dough into balls and drop onto the prepared cookie sheets. If you use two racks at the same time, switch cookie sheet positions halfway through baking time.  Bake 11 to 13 minutes.

Right after taking the cookies out of the oven, make a small, deep well in the center of each cookie, using the rounded side of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon.  Dust with cinnamon sugar if desired.  Let the cookies rest until completely cool.


For the filling, melt the remaining chocolate and the butter in the microwave (heating for 30 seconds and then stirring, 15 and then stirring, and then at 10 second intervals as necessary) or in a bowl set over simmering water on the stove, stirring with spatula until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened.

Place chocolate mixture in a small zip-top plastic bag (or a pastry bag fit with a small plain tip).  Cut off a small piece of one corner of the plastic bag and pipe the chocolate into the wells of the cookies.  Set aside for one hour, or until the chocolate is firm to touch.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

double chocolate cayenne cookies

Altogether this recipe ROCKED.  My only note is that it was a wetter batter than I’m used to dealing with for cookies – almost a brownie consistency before it went into the oven.  No complaints, though – it made for a chewy, delicious cookie!  The cookies got rave reviews at the party, too: for the hint of spice, deep chocolate flavor and surprising texture.  I’ll be making it again, for sure.

Recommended for: a special occasion cookie with a bit of complexity, a Mexican chocolate treat, and a lovely chocolate dessert that won’t take hours of preparation, but will still impress the guests.

Interested in other food-related posts? Check out Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.

12 comments:

Carole said...

These look great - but, sigh, not for me. Have a great week

Peggy Ann said...

They look and sound great I will give these a try!

Danielle K. said...

I will definitely be trying this!! They look super yummy. Thanks for sharing :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O wow! WOW!

Ginny Larsen said...

dang... delicious looking (and great directions by the way)

cookies FTW!

Alissa said...

Must make! Just need to get myself some chocolate bars and I'm all set!

Thanks for sharing. :D

Beth F said...

Those spices call to me. Oh my. I think I need to make cinnamon cayenne chocolate cookies. Wow!!

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook said...

They look so good. I'd love a kicked up chocolate cookie, I'm going to have to give these a try!

Ryan said...

I'm not a huge chocolate fan, but the ceyenne pepper would be a tasty treat.

Heather said...

Your cookies look very tasty. The addition of the pepper sounds wonderful.

Liviania said...

Spicy chocolate is the best! Have you ever made mole brownies? Heaven.

Trish said...

Every time that I think about chili with chocolate I think about the movie Chocolat. I've never tried it before but I keep seeing the recipes. I'll remember this next time my sister is in town--she loves Mexican fare.

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