Monday, November 2, 2009

Michele's Chili Chocolate Cookies – I'd Love Them Even If She Wasn't My Wife!

The recent post which featured Denise from ChezUs' beautiful dark chocolate macarons with bittersweet ancho chili ganache reminded my wife Michele that it'd been a while since she'd whipped up a batch of her famous chili chocolate cookies.

These dense, dark, and dangerously addictive cookies feature a dose of black pepper and cayenne, which to some may seem like an odd addition. But one taste and you'll understand the method to this madness.

Ju
st like adding a pinch of salt to dessert recipes makes them even sweeter and more delicious, the addition of pepper in this cookie really makes the chocolate even more chocolaty. The cookies aren't really "spicy," but you can definitely tell something strange and wonderful is happening.

I'm terrible with keeping my secret ingredients, secret. As soon as someone says, "Hey, what's in these?" I spill the beans. However, if you're one of those sadistic cooks that loves tormenting your foodie friends by not telling them what that certain something is, then this recipe is for you, since the spices are very hard to identify.

A couple notes about the recipe ingredients below. I use kosher salt for just about everything, but I always have to remind myself that it has a much flakier, larger grain, so 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt is really like 1/4 teaspoon of fine table salt. The measurement below is for fine salt, so double it if you also use flake-style kosher salt.

Also, Michele decided to reverse the chocolate blend in the original recipe by using 2 parts unsweetened chocolate to 1 part bittersweet. If you like really sweet cookies use 2 parts bittersweet to 1 part unsweetened.

If you're not sure, make 4 or 5 batches and experiment with different combinations. You really can’t practice too much when it comes to these strange, but spectacular cookies. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
1/2 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 room temperature eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Note: Special thanks to Sigve Hoel who gifted me a sweet new set of OXO mixing bowls! He saw them on my Amazon Wish List (in the sidebar in case you're wondering). Thanks
Sigve! We LOVE them.

74 comments:

foofifofum said...

Yummy! Nice job Michele!

Sigve said...

Looks delicious, I think I'll give these a try for Christmas. Thank you very much for the recipe. :)

PS: Nice to see the new bowls being used, they look great. Hope you enjoy them! :) (Almost tempted to get some for myself now =P)

Chef John said...

OMG! I totally forgot to mention the new bowls in the voice over!! I LOVE them, thanks sooo much!!

Chef John said...

I just added a special thanks to the bottom of the post! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! Is there something I can use instead of Khalua? Something non-alcoholic?

Thanks! :)

Chef John said...

yes, u can use coffee

Kai | Kat said...

i'd love to try these! my mom made mayan chocolate cake which also has chili and i loved it. this looks like an easy cookie version!

is it possible to replace the currants with something else? raisins? sultanas?

Chef John said...

sure, those will work

The Healthy Apple said...

Yum; I love adding spicy ingredients to my baked goods...I always add chili powder because it gives baked goods a nice kick....this recipe looks delish.
Can't wait to meet you this weekend in San Fran for the Foodbuzz Festival!

Chef John said...

Likewise! Are u going to the opening cocktail reception?

Sophie said...

Hello Chef John!
I love the way you speak in your videos, even a dummy can produce your recipes!!!

And this one is very nice!

Sam said...

Chef, check it out!

http://consumerist.com/5395770/how-to-eat-a-chicken-wing

Your chicken wing video was featured on another website today.

Amelia PS said...

such a wonderful adult treat!

Tim said...

Where would one find Dried Currants? With the dried fruit (cranberries, etc)?

Chef John said...

Yes, always next to the raisins

Tkriger said...

How much of a coffee flavor does the kahlua give? We don't like coffee, but these sound awesome.

Chef John said...

Very little coffe flavor

Anonymous said...

what do you have your cookie dough baking on?

Anonymous said...

heyy Chef John, I made those cookies last night and they are ABSOLUTELY delicious. Although instead of Kahlua (I couldn't find it) I added Bacardi and some coffee. Thanks for the recipe.
Aggie (14 years old :) )

DShan said...

Can I replace cayenne pepper with chilli powder or double up the amount of black pepper instead?

Chef John said...

chili powder is much different, and double bp would be too much, just leave out.

DShan said...

Thanks Chef John! I'm going to try out this recipe tonight!
BTW, regarding the unsweetened chocolate, is it the same as baking chocolate? I was able to get bittersweet chocolate but only saw 'No sugar added' milk chocolate at the store.

Chef John said...

yes, usually baking chocolate is unsweetened, but it should say.

DShan said...

They are delicious!! I left out the cayenne pepper & did all the rest accordingly & they are just melt in your mouth delicious! I may just add additional 1/8tsp ground bp the next time to test the recipe

Jowy said...

Hi, I realize that you only use normal fine sugar in the making of your cookies, can I have your opinion regarding replacing some fine/white sugar with brown sugar? Lastly, I never like raisins in my chocolates or cookies, but can I know roughly what is the taste of mixing raisins and kahlua together? Thanks!

Chef John said...

I can't describe raisin's taste, if you don't like, you wont like here. Also, I've never tried with brown sugar but should work,

Anonymous said...

Any suggestions for doing making this recipe for a diabetic?

Chef John said...

sorry, I don't. I'm sure there are tons of websites that have versions for you though.

Amanda said...

Really delicious cookies! I tried them today and they turned out great. They were a bit flatter than yours, but I actually like flat cookies.

Tiffany Palisi said...

Help! I made these and they are sooo delicious, but they retained their ball shape throughout cooking. I don't know what I did wrong. I am making them for a party this weekend. Can you help?

Chef John said...

No idea!! Maybe overmixed? That's strange.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, these cookies are absolutely addictive. I made a batch as a farewell gift for some friends and before I knew it, I finished it all :D

Anonymous said...

Chef John ---
Could I make the dough a couple days in advance and keep it in the fridge (or freezer)? Any downside to that? Thanks, I look forward to making this for Christmas!

Chef John said...

should be fine!

Anonymous said...

You use cayenne pepper a lot in your receipes, can I substitute it with Indian red chilli powder?

genesis said...

do i have your blessing to leave out the currants? i couldnt find any, and frankly i dont like the taste of raisins

Chef John said...

I think we both know the answer to that. ;-)

Anonymous said...

This is a very, very, very good cookie. This an adult chocolate cookie. Kudos to your wife, and kudos to you for marrying her. I made a cocktail to accompany them: 1 part Bailey's, 1 part Chambord, 1/2 part creme de cacao, 1/2 part vanilla vodka, 1 part creme. Shake with ice, serve in a martini glass, shave a touch of nutmeg over the top to garnish. Cookies and milk for adults.

Slanecek said...

I love the idea of milk for adults! And I love this recipe. Made them couple times, I didn't find cayenne though so I used dried chili peppers and they worked fantastic. I also often substitute dried currants with candied orange peels and kahlua with cointreau. Amazing. Last time I used home made butter and they turned just excelent.

chelsea said...

If I leave out the Kahlua and currants do I need to put in more liquid? Less maybe? Will the taking out of those two affect this recipe?

Besides lost deliciousness that is- my family equates dried fruits in cookies as blasphemy.

Chef John said...

you can omit, but not as good!

Mohammad Khan said...

On the Kahlua, could you use instant coffee as a substitute or regular coffee?

Chef John said...

Sorry, not really the same.

Anonymous said...

I don't have Kahlua at home, but I have brandy and dark rum. Which one would be the closest substitute in terms of taste?

Chef John said...

Dark rum!

Anonymous said...

do you have to use bittersweet chocolate or can you just use unsweetened chocolate? x

Anonymous said...

Are these the crunchy types or soft, Chef John?

Could I request a biscuit video, like ginger snaps?

Anonymous said...

Tried making these cookies but too many things went wrong =(

Put in wayyyyyyy too much butter, tried to compensate with extra flour, used cold eggs instead of room temperature. Ended up with cookies that oozed all over the tray!

Felt like crying but i'm gonna try it again. wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, could I request your reply. I am keen to try these.

Are these the crunchy type cookies or soft?

Could I also request a biscuit video, like ginger snaps?

Chef John said...

they are mostly soft, with a little crisp around the edges.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chef John!

In case you do a ginger snap/biscuit recipe, a healthier version would be great!

Keep up the fab work! You do make cooking easier for many of us!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, can teenagers and children under 18 eat these cookies with Kahlua?

Also, how long can these cookies be stored after baking?

Many thanks in advance to you and Michelle.

Rachel said...

Hi, these cookies look wonderfully interesting. Did I read the ingredient list correctly? Is it really only 1/2 cup of flour?

Chef John said...

Yes, 1/2 cup, but not sifted first. Just scoop it out of the bag.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for even asking, but any suggestions for a sub for the currants that's not fruit? Could I sub nuts for the currants?

Chef John said...

Of course!! They're your cookies! Put what u like!

Diane said...

This recipe looks fabulous. I can't wait to try it. Putting up the Christmas tree today and baking cookies tonight. These will be on my list of Christmas cookies this year. If you have a recipe for a great ginger snap, please let me know. I love ginger snaps, but they have to be flavorful, and with a good snap. Many recipes I've found are chewy. They should be called 'ginger chews', not snaps.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Chef John, for this recipe. I find the cookies a little too sweet for my taste, but love the spicy kick. They will be highly addictive I assume...

Anonymous said...

Hi me and my mother are making these cookies for christmas and my grandmother doesnt like spice so much but loves these cookies... any suggestions? Mom says to leave out the pepper but would that mess up the cookies?? Thanks

Chef John said...

leave it out!

Tom A Johnson said...

I baked these yesterday with a friend and we used Amaretto instead of Kahlua. The results were amazing and I find it hard to imagine that using Kahlua would make them taste any better. I handed out a few at a dance Sunday night and floored everybody.

Megan said...

My local grocery store does not carry dried currants and all of amazon.com's "currants" are actually just dried grapes.

Where do you get dried black currants from? I am reluctant to substitute dried grapes since they are so bland. Maybe dried cranberries or dried tart cherries would work.

Anonymous said...

Finally got all the ingredients together and made them today with my daughter. We've been looking forward to this for a while. The cookies are delicious, and we love the cayenne and peppery bite to the rich chocolatey flavor. Thanks for the recipe.

Susanne said...

Dear Chef John,
I just made these cookies and ate one while still warm. So good!
I substitutet the currants with raisins and did a few other minor changes, because I'm the boss of my cookies. ;-) They came out really delicious!
Thanks for the great recipe. Greetings from Germany!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

I after I added in my chocolate mixture, my batter started to thicken up a lot instead of being liquidy like yours. Any tips? Thanks!

Miriam Azizi said...

I'd never thought that it would turn out to be this delicious!! Thanks for sharing this recipe Chef John!

piprod01 said...

What makes people think these cookies aren't suitable for kids? There's 2 tbsp 20% liqueur in the entire batch. That's 30 ml, or 6 ml ethanol, which is 0.6 units. In 24 cookies that's 0.025 units each.

How many Units to get little Timmy tipsy? 3? That's 120 cookies without taking into account you let most of it evaporate in the pan and oven, and that the cookies you're not "drinking" on an empty stomach.

Beth said...

Do you measure your flour by spooning it into the measuring cup, or do you dip-and-sweep it? I'm more used to weight measurements. Thanks!

Chef John said...

Sorry, I honestly don't remember!

Chef John said...

I usually dip.

Beth said...

These were too sweet for me, but too delicious and intriguing to leave behind, so I tweaked.

I subbed 1/2 cup of cacao nibs and 1/2 cup chopped bitter (not unsweetened) chocolate for the for chocolate chips. This helped a lot!

Would reducing the sugar mess with the chemistry?

Isaac said...

Just made these, they are fanfreakingtastic. Can't wait to try your tomato bisque recipe next! Chef John, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

L said...

I was very excited to make these cookies, but upon tasting them I was disappointed to find out they taste just like Dutch chocolate 'pepernoten'. You can buy those in any supermarket and many other stores in the Netherlands from October to December.

noracassandra said...

Hi dear... Let me start with I LOVE YOUR WORK!!!

I'm planning at last to get to this recipe.. But I'm making it for my daughter's birthday so NO Kahlua... Can you advise me with something to replace it with?? PLEASE?!?

Regards
Nora Cassandra