Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chocolate With A Chile Kick

I love the taste of chocolate with chiles.  My favorite (and local) chocolatier makes an excellent spicy chocolate truffle.  However, since I am trying to prepare for the impending bathing suit weather and a trip to Orlando in April, truffles really aren't in my diet vocabulary.

The alternative is to whip up a batch of Chocolate Chile cookies that I nabbed from Weight Watchers.  2 points per cookie - sweet!  However, I can never leave - what seems to be well enough - alone.  To me, if you're going to advertise that there's some chiles in your chocolate, make it taste like it.  The reviewers of this recipe reported that you really couldn't taste the cayenne pepper in the cookies.  Cayenne?  They considered that worthy?  And only a quarter of a teaspoon, to boot.  Lame!

So I recreated their version into one that suited my family (and some friends, 'cause sharing is nice!).  Add more heat if you want, but only by 1/4 teaspoon at a time.  It would be a shame for that good chocolate to go to waste!

Chocolate Chile Cookies
Revised from Weight Watchers
Serves 36, 1 cookie per serving

2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate squares, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour or cake flour

1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. corn starch (to make slightly chewy cookies)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ancho chile powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup packed brown sugar, dark-variety
1/3 cup sugar, granulated
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350, placing one rack on the top slot and the second rack on the third slot.  Prepare two cookies sheets with non-stick foil, silicone baking mats, or foil with cooking spray.  Take chocolate and melt in microwave in 15 second increments or until mostly melted.  Stir till melted.

In a small skilled, toast almonds until golden brown, allow to cool.

Combine flour through cinnamon with a whisk in a small bowl.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer, beat sugars and eggs for 5 minutes until tan and thick.

Add chocolate and vanilla and beat until well blended.  Add flour mixture, blending in small batches.

Turn off mixer, remove attachment, and stir in almonds.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 7 minutes, then take the top cookie sheet and switch places with the bottom cookie sheet.  Bake for 7 more minutes.  Allow to cool on sheet for 3 minutes.  

These are crunchy with some chewiness to them.  Add another teaspoon of corn starch or bake for one 30 seconds to one less minute if you like chewier cookies.  Fast, easy, and muy delicioso!  

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