Recipe by Graceless Ally
A friend pointed me to this recipe (which I've changed slightly) on the blog MontCarte that is adapted from a recipe on Under the Highchair. I love recipes involving spiced chocolate. These cookies are absolutely delicious and they smell wonderful while baking. I didn't want to leave the kitchen! The topping gives the cookie a sparkly look and a wonderful crunch accented by a hint of heat from the cayenne pepper. The MontCarte blogger substituted the vegetable shortening with additional unsalted butter, but her cookies were crumbly as a result. I used vegetable shortening and my cookies crumbled very little. I've switched to bread flour in this cookie recipe. I will produce cookies with lasting softness. If that's not something you want, the bread flour can easily be replaced with all-purpose flour. If you plan to serve these to sensitive mouths and tummies, leave out the chili powder and cayenne but keep the black pepper to still achieve the spiced-chocolate taste without the burn. I prefer to use freshly ground black pepper for this recipe to achieve a stronger note in the taste. If you have an audience who's hesitant to spiced chocolate, dub these cookies simply "chocolate cookies" and watch for a reaction. I've seen these cookies win over many a cinnamon-chocolate, pepper-chocolate hater. Yield of this recipe is around 5 dozen and serving size is 2-3 cookies but I usually eat twice that amount in each sitting. The cookies great well with a glass of milk or crumbled over ice cream.
Top Review by happy2bme_9_8206787
I made these for a Mayan supper I had over the weekend and everyone just rave about them! I liked that they were fairly easy to make and had nice flavor without being too sweet. My dad ate about a dozen of them by himself!!!
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar (for topping)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for topping)
- 3⁄4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3⁄4 cups bread flour
- 1 1⁄4 cups cocoa powder
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pinch chili powder (optional)
- 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place rack in center of oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat and set aside.
- TOPPING: In a small dish, add granulated sugar and cinnamon. Stir until evenly combined. Set aside.
- COOKIES: In a large mixing bowl, add shortening, softened butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on low-speed for 30 secs until ingredients are combined.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to beat at medium-speed until mixture is creamy (1 -2 minutes).
- Add one egg to mixture and beat on medium-speed until combined (30 secs). Repeat with second egg.
- In a separate mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, and baking soda.
- Add black pepper, salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper to flour mixture and gently stir to combine all ingredients.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture (1/2 cup at a time) and beat at low-speed until combined (1 minute) after each addition.
- Add half of the chocolate chips to bowl and fold them into the batter. Repeat with remaining chocolate chips.
- (Optional) Attempt to roll a small amount (1 tbsp) of batter into a ball. If the batter is too sticky and not cleanly rolling off your hand, chill batter in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes or until desired tackiness is reached.
- Roll tablespoons of batter into 1" balls. Do not flatten.
- Roll balls of batter through cinnamon and sugar topping until evenly coated.
- Place rolled balls on prepared cookie sheets, about 2” apart. Do not flatten.
- Bake batches for 7-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookie edges will be dry, but centers should still be soft.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before attempting to remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- TIP: Place a paper towel under the wire rack to catch loose topping.
- Store cookies in a counter-top cookie jar for 1 week or in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.