Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved chocolate.
She loved it in cookies and cakes, in brownies and tarts.
She would eat in any way she could get her grubby little hands on it.
Sometimes she would even eat it illicitly out of the cookie jar. (Sorry mom!)
Then one day, someone told her she could eat it for dinner too, without getting in trouble…
in a mole sauce.
But she soon discovered it was all a trick! For mole sauce was not sweet, and to this little girl, actually tasted like mud.
Many years later, I love a good mole. Back then I had just convinced myself that I was going to have dessert for dinner and then was dealt the old bait and switch and felt horribly betrayed.
Even as a small child, I did not take my chocolate lightly.
Spicy chocolate I was also initially fearful of because of my incredibly low tolerance for spice. I can physically take quite a bit of spice without issue, I’m just one of those people who gets absolutely no extra enjoyment from a food or dish being spicy. No endorphin release. It actively diminishes my enjoyment as all it does is cause me pain.
I wish I could love it, but I just don’t.
I don’t love spicy chocolate but I do find it… interesting.
Like I am with so many other things, I am intrigued by the contrasts found in spicy chocolate. The idea of something I find so smooth, rich and downright comforting, combined with something… sparky, kicky, and frankly, mildly painful.
It really sort of makes me wish my taste buds were into spicy foods as spicy chocolate is that slightest glimmer into what the culinary world could be like for me if that side of it did anything for me.
Anything for me at all. Other than pain.
I love a good spicy tuna roll, but I eat it in spite of the spiciness.
These cookies… I both eat because of and in spite of their spiciness.
I know, that doesn’t really make sense.
I love them, I do.
The spice is good because it gives the cookie depth and makes it so much more than just another chocolate cookie.
The spice is bad because ow, my face.
I don’t think I’ll ever get the to point with spice that I’m at with mole. Mole is delicious and I just didn’t understand why the chocolate in it didn’t taste like a chocolate bar when I was a kid.
As far as I know, my brain will never suddenly start releasing endorphins one day in response to spice.
Although that would be cool.
These cookies are still worth it though.
Mexican Chocolate Chili Cookies
Adapted from Local Milk
- 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
- 1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 tsp flaky sea salt or kosher
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 discs Tazo Chipotle Chili Chocolate, chopped (or about 3 oz another spicy, dark chocolate)
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks
- Heat oven to 375°.
- Whisk flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cayenne together in a bowl.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter until pale and fluffy. Scraping down bowl as needed, cream in sugars until smooth and fluffy again, about 3 minutes.
- On low speed, add in vanilla and one egg at a time, scraping as needed, until incorporated. Add in half the flour mixture on low and mix to incorporate before adding the other half. Mix until just incorporated and then stir in the chocolate with a wooden spoon. Batter will be very thick.
- You can either refrigerate the dough for 12-24 hours, freeze the dough for about 1 hour, or bake them straight away. Chilling will help to avoid excessive spreading.
- Roll them into golf ball sized balls and space them about 2″ apart on a parchment/silipat lined or greased baking sheet. Bake 12-16 minutes. Let cool briefly and then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
- Store in an airtight container, and unused dough can be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to 72 hours.
Makes approx 2-3 dozen cookies.