I received Libbie Summers’s Sweet & Vicious: Baking with Attitude for Christmas, and it didn’t take me long to find an occasion to test it out – a friend’s birthday. I wanted something that was easy to pack and go, so I went with cookies – “Kahlo Cookies,” to be exact. These spiced Mexican chocolate cookies seemed like the perfect balance of interesting and crowd-pleasing – and also, not too difficult (I wasn’t really trying to get into a four layer cake or anything).
You start out with chocolate, which you melt, and a simple dry ingredient mix with added pops of cinnamon and ground chipotle pepper.
There’s butter, and sugar, and all of it gets mixed together to make a dark, chocolatey dough. Libbie adds homemade hot pepper extract too, but I didn’t have that, so I threw in a little extra chili powder and called it even. I bet the hot pepper extract is killer, though…
You make adorable dough balls, sprinkle them with turbinado sugar (or, if you are like me and totally didn’t plan ahead for any of this, raw sugar you happen to have on hand) and bake briefly.
They are quite soft upon emerging from the oven, and my only regret was this frightened me and I think I left them in a bit long, resulting in a slightly drier, cakier texture than I might have wanted. Otherwise, they were quite adorable, and had a nice subtle spiciness to give them that much more oomph than your average chocolate cookie. Here’s hoping Frida Kahlo would be pleased!
Oh, and the cookbook? It’s pretty frickin’ gorgeous. Check it out.
From Sweet & Vicious: Baking with Attitude by Libbie Summers
As mentioned, really listen when she says “take them out when just set.” I also played a little fast and loose with the types of chili powder, based on what was in my kitchen, and I’d really like to know what this is like with the hot pepper extract. More spice, please!
Yield: 18 (3-inch) Cookies
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon hot pepper extract (optional)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, chipotle pepper, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) on medium speed, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla paste and hot pepper extract and mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
Drop the dough by generous tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle a generous amount of turbinado sugar on top of each mound of dough. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or just until the cookies have set. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.