Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chocolate Mocha Chili Blast Cookies

When Ruth and I started our BBQ sauce business many years ago, we met Pete and Jill Sullivan of Maui Pepper Company at one of the wine festivals we did.  They made several hot sauces and a wonderful pineapple mango salsa.  We became friends and had some fun doing demos at various gourmet stores and wine festivals.  After two long weekends sharing a booth at the Christmas show in Frederick, we stopped by their house to unwind.  One of the things we munched on were Pete’s dark chocolate cookies that were spiked with cayenne pepper and coffee.  He called them Chocolate Chile Blast Cookies and the combination was delicious.  They eventually sold their business and moved to Hawaii (lucky people) but I remembered those cookies and have adapted this recipe to come close to them.  You can substitute habanero powder for the cayenne if you are particularly daring!  Enjoy!  The recipe was adapted from Pete Sullivan’s recipe and Cook’s Illustrated


1/3     cup granulated sugar (about 2 1/2 ounces), plus 1/2 cup for coating
1 1/2  cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
3/4     cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2        Tbs instant coffee granules
1/2     tsp baking soda
¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/4     tsp table salt plus 1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2     cup dark corn syrup (see note)
1       large egg white
1       tsp vanilla extract
12     Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened (70 degrees)
1/3    cup packed dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 ounces, see note)
4      ounces bittersweet chocolate;  chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (see note)


Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ½ cup granulated sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cayenne and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk corn syrup, egg white, vanilla and coffee granules together in another small bowl.  In stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, add corn syrup mixture, and beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bowl once with rubber spatula. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and chopped chocolate; mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl once. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Chill dough 30 minutes to firm slightly (do not chill longer than 30 minutes).  Divide dough into 16 equal portions; roll between hands into balls about 11/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, drop 8 dough balls into baking dish with sugar and toss to coat. Set dough balls on a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or lined with parchment, spacing about 2 inches apart; repeat with second batch of 8. Bake, reversing position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 10 to 11 minutes. Do not overbake.  Cool the cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack; cool cookies to room temperature.

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