Huh? Chili Pepper? Yes!
Christmas cookie #2 comes from Mrs Williams who posted her recipe over on Grouprecipes, and also blogged about it HERE.
The cookie dough itself is soooooo chocolatey - it looks almost like fudge!
The dough starts with butter, brown sugar and water, cooked together on the stove. Then, semi-sweet chocolate chips are added to the hot mixture and melted. You let that cool for about ten minutes, the add in an egg, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt and chili pepper.
I've often added chocolate - either cocoa or grated unsweetened chocolate - to my chili recipes. The chocolate adds a nice richness to it. In this cookie recipe, roles are kind of reversed: chocolate is the star and the chili powder is like a back-up singer. Of course, you want a back-up singer with a great voice! Not one who's just there because of their looks, right? ;) So I used some nice Ancho Chili Powder that I purchased from MySpiceSage.com.
And can I just say.... I heart MySpiceSage.com. They always add in a couple freebies with your order - one is a current promotional item (nice ones, too, like Applewood Smoked Sea Salt or Madagascar Vanilla Bean Pods) plus, depending on the size of your order, you get to choose your own sample(s) to be included in your order! Which is how I came to obtain my Ancho Chili Powder. Shipping is very reasonable, especially if you order $40 or more - then it's FREE! And to top it off, their prices are very reasonable and the product is of very nice quality. It comes packaged in airtight zipper top plastic bags...I'm still getting used to that. You can always transfer your herbs and spices to container of your choice. I've been doing that with the ones I use frequently as I'm not real good about making sure my plastic bags are re-zipped tightly after I've opened them!
Anyhoo.....back to these yummy cookies!
After the dough's mixed, you stir in some of those Hershey's Cinnamon Baking Chips. The combination of cinnamon, chocolate and chili powder is so warm, aromatic and even a bit exotic! I chilled my dough in the fridge for easier handling....actually overnight. In the morning, the dough was HARD, so I just popped it in the microwave for about two ten-second intervals to warm it up, and after that it was easy to work with.
Used my cookie scoop to make uniform sized balls of dough...
Bakes as directed and here they are....
Very chocolatey and delicious - they keep well in airtight plastic bags or containers. I've even frozen the dough in balls and baked. (I do let them thaw slightly before baking). And if you fear chili powder, let me just say that I don't really "taste" the chili powder as much as I "feel" it - it adds a nice warmth to the cookies, that compliments the chocolate and cinnamon flavors beautifully.
So if you want something different for this year's cookie trays, definitely check these out!
Here's a link to the original recipe: Mexican Chocolate Cookies