Chocolate-Chili Cookies

The Mexicans regarded chocolate as a savory rather than a sweet commodity, and ate it cooked in casseroles - undoubtedly mixed with chili pepper. This is a whimsical little recipe, combining both sweetness and the traditional chili-chocolate Mexican idea. I like it. I hope you will.

Ingredients

  • 9 oz Mexican chocolate (if you can get it) or a good semisweet chocolate, grated
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder, preferably ground ancho chili
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Method

Put the chocolate and water in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Set aside. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt, and set aside.

Beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well mixed. Beat in the eggs and the chocolate. Add the dry ingredients in two or three batches, beating well after each addition to make a somewhat moist dough. Divide the dough into four equal parts.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a log approximately 12 inches long and 1½ inches thick. Place the dough logs on a sheet of wax paper, cover loosely with another sheet of paper, and refrigerate until firm but not hard (1½-2 hours).

When ready to bake the cookies, slice the logs into ¼-inch-thick rounds and arrange on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 6 minutes or until light brown and crusty around the edges. Turn the cookies over, and bake for a further 8 minutes or until no longer moist in the center.

Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over and serve right away, or store in an airtight container.

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