Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chocolate Spice Cookies

This may look like just a chocolate cookie but it's rich and buttery and has such complex flavors. Chocolate combined with ancho chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves is pretty unique on its own, but then add in orange zest and espresso powder and it's transformed into something..amazing!

And more good news is that they improve with age. I made these a few days ago and they just keep getting better!

You can even make the dough ahead and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days before you bake them.

Chocolate Spice Cookies (adapted from lunacafe)

7 oz. AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa ( use a good quality brand sich as Valhrona)
1 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cool room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, at room. temp. lightly beaten
finely grated zest of one large orange
1 tsp. espresso powder dissolved in 1 tsp. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange extract
1. In large bowl, sift flour, cocoa, spices and salt and set aside.
2. In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar til light, about 3 minutes.
3. Add egg yolks and beat til creamy.
4. Add zest, dissolved espresso, vanilla and orange extract and mix til blended.
5. Add flour mixture and mix briefly.
6. Divide dough into thirds and form each into a disc shape. Wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Dough can also be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
7. Take each disc and roll out to 1/4" thickness, cutting shapes and rerolling scraps. ( I always roll between 2 pieces of plastic wrap).
8. Place cookies on baking sheet sprinkled with a little sugar, spacing about 1" apart. Pop cookies back into fridge while you preheat the oven to 375.
8. Bake about 15 minutes. Once they come out of the oven, loosen them with a thin spatula. If you have time, pretest a few first to get the baking time right. Because these are dark, it's hard to tell when they're done.

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