Our first recipe for the year starts us off with a kick thanks to Christina Marsigliese at Scientifically Sweet and her delightful recipe. The pictures on her website should be enough to win anyone over, and in my search for a chocolate chili cookie to try out, her photos were easily enough for me to call my search complete. My pictures don’t do them justice (apologies again for the night-time photography; the color’s going to be a bit off), so definitely check hers out for some proper enticement.
These cookies are soft and gooey straight out of the oven and hold up their wonderful texture for several days. The subtle hint of chili is superb and balanced well by the richness of the chocolate and a sufficient quantity of sugar. I played around a little bit with different chilis and quantities thereof to see what I liked, and I have to say that chipotle worked best for me. In my experience though, everyone has their own particular taste when it comes to chili (including avoiding it entirely – you’ll find a recommendation for that down below in “Thoughts”), so you’ll probably need to play around a bit as well to find what you like the most. Consider the quantities listed below as a starting point.
Also, a fun fact about these cookies: no power tools needed to make the dough! All you’ll need for equipment are a couple of bowls, whisks, a spatula, and the usually array of measuring cups and spoons. The dough comes together just fine with some strenuous, but brief, whisking and then some gentle folding. Simple recipes like that are always appreciated.
With Thanks To: Christina Marsigliese for the recipe, which is only slightly modified here.
Yield: 2-dozen cookies
Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes in the fridge
- 3/4 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Ground chili (only one of the following, not all of them at once!)
- Mild: 1/2 tsp Ancho
- Medium: 1/4 tsp Chipotle
- Hot: 1/4 tsp Cayenne
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (100g) bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup (70g) superfine (caster) sugar
- 1/3 cup (75g) butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ground chili, cinnamon, and salt, and then sprinkle in the chocolate chips.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, superfine sugar, and vanilla until well-combined.
- Add the melted butter and continue whisking until well-combined.
- Add the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry and fold them together until just-combined.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Drop tablespoon-sized amounts of dough onto the lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are crisp and the middles are slightly firm.
- Let cool for 3-5 minutes on the trays and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- The recipe above calls for specific powdered chilis and that should not be confused with “chili powder”. The latter is what we typically find in a supermarket’s spices section and is a mix of powdered chilis and a variety of other things (oregano and garlic are often involved). I can’t attest to what these cookies would be like with chili powder in them, as you’d need to up the quantity to probably around 1 tsp just to notice the flavor at all, and then I’m not sure you’d be happy with the result considering the other flavors involved. Finding powdered chili that isn’t cayenne might be tricky, but the smoky flavor of the chipotle in particular is superb alongside the chocolate in these cookies, so I strongly recommend seeking out some straight-up powdered chili.
- As an alternative to a chili cookie, if you’re just not a fan of any kind of chili, up the cinnamon to a 1/2 tsp or even a full 1 tsp if you’re bold, and you’ll have a delightful chocolate cinnamon cookie.
Mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl because you’ll be adding the sugar and butter to this bowl later.
1/3 cup of butter is a slightly unusual quantity, so this is one of those times when once again I recommend having a kitchen scale. They sure do make things easier.
Your butter and sugars will come together into something of a slurry; this isn’t your usual “beat together the butter and sugars” kind of cookie recipe.
Now gently fold everything together until just the point at which there are no dry patches of flour floating around.
After 15 minutes in the fridge to firm up, you’ll be all set to get these cookies onto a tray!
A few minutes later you’ll have yourself a tray full of chocolate chili deliciousness! Give them a few minutes to cool both on the trays and then on wire racks (I neglected to snap a picture of the latter…) while restraining yourself from tucking in to these. The only heat you want to experience is the chili, not the burning of your tongue from a super-freshly baked cookie!