Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cookie Carnival: Dark Chocolate Chipotle Cookies

After taking December off, January's Cookie Carnival recipe was literally kicking up the heat a little bit. The recipe chosen was dark chocolate chipotle cookies from the Nantucket Cookie Company. The recipe can be found here.

Upfront, I wasn't super excited for this recipe. Truthfully, I'm not much of a chocolate fiend. I like small doses of milk chocolate (read plain m&m's) and things with a little bit of chocolate mixed in like chocolate chip cookies. But when you venture into the chocoholic world, I could really take it or leave it. Derek doesn't seem to be too distressed by this. He basically eats what I bake without complaints.

Combine that with the chipotle pepper problems that I had and these cookies almost weren't. At first, I couldn't find the chipotle peppers at any grocery stores in the area. They had other dried peppers, but alas, no chipotles. The other weekend I had the great idea to chechk for them at the Penzey's spice store that is near our apartment. Sucess. I finally had the peppers, but the misfortunes continued.

I halved the recipe at the beginning because I didn't know how well we would like them for reasons discussed above. I don't know why but I had it in my head that the full recipe called for 2 Tablespoons of crushed pepper (at this point bells should have been going off in my head, these are cookies right?). So in halving the recipe, I added 1 Tablespoon of crushed pepper. After taking a swipe of the dough, I quickly realized my mistake. I had effectively tripled the pepper - the orginal recipe calls for 2 teaspoons. In addition, I somehow must have touched my nose with my hands after I handled the peppers and it was burning big time! So with a burning nose and burning mouth, I scraped my dough into the trash and started over. Thankfully, I realized it fairly early, so I was basically only out some butter, cocoa powder and sugar.

The second try went much smoother and I acutally got a batch of edibly spicy cookies. The verdict - okay. I took them back home with me when we went home last weekend, although I think everyone agreed that they would be better without the pepper. Desipte all the mixing, you never quite knew when you were going to find a spicy one. Mom also wanted to swap in white chocolate chips for the semi-sweet ones. They were good for something different to try, but I don't know if I'll make them again or not. If I do, I'm quite sure it will be without the pepper :-)

My other complaint is that the recipe makes a TON of cookies. The original recipe states that you should get 3 dozen 1-1/2 inch cookies. I cut the recipe in half and definately still had 3 dozen decently sized cookies. It was just more cookies than I was expecting this time.

Check out the blogroll here at the beginning of February to see everyone's cookies!

Dark Chocolate Chipotle Cookies
Adapted from Nantucket Cookie Company

Ingredients: (full recipe)
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 c. sugar, plus more for topping
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp. crushed, dried chipotle peppers
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 lb. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 pkg. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and beat until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary to evenly cream it. Add the sugars, cocoa powder and chipotle peppers and mix again at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add eggs, vanilla, and water. Beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add slightly cooled, melted chocolate and mix again, scraping bowl to evenly mix everything. Add the flour mixture, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. When well incorporated, add the chips and mix briefly, about 5 seconds.

Refrigerate the dough in the bowl until cool and fudge-like, but not solid, for approximately 1 hour. Use an ice-cream scoop to create large, evenly sized cookies. The cookie dough balls can be frozen at this point and baked right from the freezer.

When ready to bake, roll the tops of the balls in sugar. Place on baking sheets, allowing space for the cookies to spread. Bake for 10-14 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven when they are still a little underdone. Allow to cool for a couple minutes on the pan before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storing.

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