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Monday, March 23, 2009

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

In case you don't know, or can't tell, I've got a thing for spiced chocolate. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong culture and era, but luckily there are ways to get it here. I love Jacques Torres' "Wicked" Hot Chocolate, cinnamon chocolate cake, and the Ginger Chocolate Cookies I tried awhile back. My favorite homemade hot chocolate has a cinnamon stick, pinch of cardamom and pinch of cayenne.

So these spicy sweet cookies had immediate appeal to me before I even made them, and of course afterwards as well. They are moist and chewy the first day but hard and crunchy the next, so just be prepared for however you like them. I made these for some friends; the husband LOVED them, the wife was indifferent. Just depends on your palate. But they are certainly attention-getters, and I adore them.

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60-70%), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place chocolate in small glass bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, black pepper and red pepper; stir with a whisk.

3. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes. Add egg; beat well. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; beat just until blended. Add flour mixture; beat until just blended. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray, parchment, or silicone.

4. Bake 10 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven; cool on pans 2 minutes until set before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen using a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop.
Per cookie: Cal 80, Fat 2.9g, Chol 10mg, Sod 35mg, Prot 0.7g, Fiber 0.1g

Recipe from Cooking Light, December 2007

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