I’ve been a little stressed out lately which leads me to rearrange furniture (hence my beloved albeit work in progress new ambivalently aqua office) and bake. The baking serves a dual purpose as consuming sugar is another of my favorite coping mechanisms. One night after dinner we had a simultaneous craving for something, anything really, sweet. But we were broke. See previous post for explanation. Upon looking in the relatively barren cupboards this is what I came up with, inspired by a spicy cookie conversation had earlier in the week: chocolate, cayenne, and salt. I found a disc of Tazo’s chipotle chocolate that had been hiding behind a tin of tea and we were setter than set.
He counted out some quarters from a coffee mug on the kitchen counter and ran to the store for chocolate chips because I insisted it just wouldn’t be the same without lots of chocolate chips, the one meager disc of chocolate would not suffice. Our precious quarters were worth it. And it wouldn’t have been the same, I was right. The chips were critical. I meant for him to grab dark chocolate chips, but he got the regular ones. Being a dude and all he wasn’t paying attention to the finer points (percentages, obviously…or the word “dark”) of chocolate chips. The bag said “chips” and that was good enough for him. That said, I actually really liked them with regular old chips. There’s a lot going on in these cookies and they aren’t cloyingly sweet so I didn’t mind the regular in this situation as opposed to my default of dark chocolate in everything. I regard milk chocolate, as a general rule anyway, as largely inadequate and inferior on the whole to dark. But I think if I made these again I’d do it the same.
So. A quick run to the wizard (a.k.a. Google), and I turned up this recipe from The Gouda Life. A little bit of tweaking to make them saltier and spicier plus the addition of chunks of chipotle laced mexican chocolate, and I think I may have found my favorite cookie. Given I’m fickle and find new cookie paramours on the reg, but for right now these are in all honesty the love of my cookie life. They’re almost like cookie brownies if you get the baking time juuust right. A little over and they, as most cookies do, become crunchier upon cooling while still a little chewy in the middle. I’d say bake 15 minutes for golf ball sized cookies, 16 if they’ve been chilled, but it all depends on cookie size and oven in the end. Test to find the sweet spot if you can because when you find it they are perfectly crisp outside and yield to a tender chewy brownie-esque interior.
Salted Double Chocolate Chili Cookies
yields about 32-40 cookies
They’re salty and spicy and chocolatey times two. They’re crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. They are, I swear, some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. The dough would make some pretty mad cookie dough ice cream. Just in case you were wondering, I graciously tested plenty of the dough. You know, for science. I think they’d also make excellent presents along with the recipe, though I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I stop hoarding them. I’d give you all a bundle wrapped in parchment with some really twee baker’s twine. But I can’t. So here’s the recipe, the gift that keeps on giving, but you’ll have to bake them for yourselves. They take no time and are severely worth it. Severely. And if you have enough quarters, get some milk while you’re out buying chocolate chips…
1 1/2 cups pastry flour
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2-2 tsp flaky sea salt or kosher (I kinda did it to taste. I like salty chocolate.)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cayenne powder (I used 2. They were trés spicy. Like I like.)
1 cup packed brown sugar (I had none so I added 1 tsp of molasses after creaming the butter and used all regular sugar)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I used good Irish butter, I think it makes a difference) room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I forgot this. Eh. Still excellent.)
5 oz dark chocolate chips (about 3/4-1 cup)
Heat oven to 375°.
Whisk the first six ingredients together in a bowl.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter until pale and fluffy. Scraping down bowl as needed, beat in sugars until smooth and fluffy again.
On low add in vanilla and one egg at a time, scraping as needed, until incorporated. Add in half the flour mixture on low and mix to incorporate before adding the other half. Mix until just incorporated and then stir in the chocolate with a wooden spoon. It’s a mighty batter, quite thick. So use your muscles.
At this point you can either refrigerate the dough for 12-24 hours (which I did with some of it), freeze the dough for about 1 hour, or bake them straight away. I found they were equally delicious either way, but naturally you will have less spread if you chill them. Also, you can chill them in the freezer for 1 hour if you like.
Roll them into golf ball sized balls and space them about 2″ apart on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Bake 12-16 minutes. Let cool briefly and then remove to a rack to finish cooling. Eat them. All. I mean, now you can gift them to family and friends and such. Store in an airtight container, and unused dough can be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to 72 hours.