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.
Just 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!
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.