Creating seasonal recipes that are inspired by my passion for local, organic foods

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Salted Chipotle Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I made a lot of cookies over the holidays. But these aren't your ordinary cookies. These are complex cookies with character. The kind that makes your taste buds report in waves of flavors.

First, I took a standard, chocolate chip cookie recipe that I've had success with in the past (and, more importantly, was quick - I was strapped for time). In this case, it's the Ghiradelli Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. And then I doctored it up with some spices, most notably chipotle, cinnamon and cayenne and then sprinkled some sea salt at the finish for a sweet, salty, spicy (with a hint of smoky) flavor profile.

I recommend getting Ghiradelli bittersweet bars and chopping them into chunks or you can use Scharffen Berger chocolate chunks (it ends up being cheaper than the bars). Just make sure you use good quality chocolate. I would have used Guittard, but didn't want to wrestle with chopping up the bulk chocolate. For the rest, I used all organic ingredients, house made vanilla extract and eggs from our backyard chickens.

These end up being mildly spicy. If I weren't baking these for other people (and eating them myself), I would increase the chipotle and the cayenne. So, if you like things spicy, feel free to double the cinnamon, chipotle and cayenne!

Salted Chipotle Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cup unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks
fleur de sel (or fine sea salt)

Heat oven to 375ยบ F.

Stir flour with baking soda, salt and spices and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated.

Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle fleur de sel or sea salt on each unbaked cookie.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for three minutes and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Then stuff into mouth.

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