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Chili Chip Cookies

I often find myself bored of "conventional" foods. Why must this pizza use tomato sauce? Why must this fruit salad be cold, or this cookie sweet? One of my favorite twistings of "normal" taste profiles is the addition of spice to quite literally any food that "should not" be spicy. Thus, bringing us to these chili chip cookies.

Far be it from me to assume I would invent a spicy cookie before any others, I searched the internet for any who had tread this path before myself, so as to avoid any unfortunate blunders (inedible rocks, fires, general time wasting). I decided that this recipe (source of image shown) was most promising, if blandly named. Containing cayenne pepper and red chili powder, it seemed a reasonable introduction to more aggressively spiced cookies than I had previously been accustomed to.

Ingredients:

4 oz. unsalted butter

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

The process starts with melting the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a bowl, and letting cool once even. Next, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and the eggs with a mixer. Then, pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until even. Take the rest of the dry ingredients and combine them in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients as the mixer mixes on low speed. Once all ingredients are combined, fold the chocolate chips into the batter (remember to turn the mixer off first, I didn't). Take balls of the batter and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, you should have two batches of ~12. Bake at 325° for around 15 minutes.

When first biting into these cookies, it's not quite apparent that they're anything other than a very chocolate-y, fudge-y cookie. That's something that I love about these confections, the heat isn't immediately apparent. It creeps, setting in only once you've chewed a moment. It's hardly offensive, either. Not a burn, but a pleasant warmth, flavorful and gentle. The addition of cinnamon with the more scovillous powders helps bridge the gap between sweet and spice, a helpful gateway to the head and tail of this cookie coin.

In quantified terms, I would rate these chili chip cookies with a 7/10. The taste is great, it does its job and knows precisely what it is meant to be. The spice is not an assault, and introduces itself well, even among the strong mixture of three chocolates. While I appreciate the subtlety, a part of me desires something more overt, but I suppose that just isn't what these are meant for. Assuming a more herbal dessert is your cup of tea, these cookies are an enjoyable new experience, and not particularly removed from our culture's typical idea of dessert. Just please use the name I've given them, "spicy Mexican hot chocolate cookies" is so uninspired.