With the arrival of a new baby comes the arrival of many visitors and over the past few weeks we've welcomed plenty of friends and family as they've dropped in to meet the new addition.
This steady stream of company has been most welcome as I haven't had the energy to get out much with the boys and it's nice to have an adult around for some real conversation.
Don't get me wrong, Noah is a great conversationalist for a two-year-old, but there is only so much one can say about rockets, big machines, volcanoes and hockey!
I like to have something on hand to serve with afternoon tea or coffee during these friendly visits and these cookies are something Noah and I mixed up recently--I think they are my new favorite cookie!
This recipe surfaced during my famous Christmas cookie exchange and was executed beautifully by my friend Kirsten. What makes these far superior to a regular double chocolate cookie is the integration of cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne, giving them some heat! Also a generous cup and a quarter of cocoa powder makes these cookies dark, delicious and totally satisfying for a chocoholic as myself.
The dough is pretty amazing, too. You may not want to bake all of it...
If you're crazy about the combination of chocolate and pepper, check out my recipe for Milk Chocolate Pudding with Long Pepper.
Mayan Chocolate Sparklers:
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Baking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 5 dozen
½ cup granulated sugar 125 mL
1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL
¾ cup vegetable shortening 175 mL
½ cup unsalted butter, softened 125 mL
¾ cup granulated sugar 175 mL
¾ cup brown sugar, packed 175 mL
2 large eggs 2
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 5 mL
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 425 mL
1 ¼ cups cocoa powder 300 mL
1 tbsp ground cinnamon 15 mL
2 tsp baking soda 10 mL
¼ tsp salt 1 mL
¼ tsp ground black pepper 1 mL
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper 1
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 250 mL
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping.
Beat shortening, butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll in 1” (2.5 cm) balls, don’t flatten. Roll into cinnamon and sugar topping. Place on prepared cookie sheets, about 2” (5 cm) apart.
Bake 7-10 minutes. Cookies should still be soft in center. Let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Remove, cool on wire rack.