For a long time I've had this idea about combining chili powder and chocolate to make a chocolate chip cookie. The idea is not original, chilies and chocolate are combined all the time in Mexico and other Latin American countries. For this experiment, I chose to add a fair amount of cinnamon, also a Mexican standard with chocolate. I only found one recipe while searching the web but it produced a flat, hard cookie not to my liking. I combined Nancy's favorite basic chocolate chip recipe (via The Best Recipe) with the ancho/cinnamon combo and came up with these.


The result is a chewy cookie with the smoky spice from the ancho chilies, the zing of the freshly ground cinnamon, and good old chocolate. These are not spicy in a Mexican food sense. The ancho delivers more flavor than heat.

Here's the recipe:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
4-5 dried ancho chilies or 3 tbs ancho chili powder
3 tbs canela cinnamon (see note)
12 tsp (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, near room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus one egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag (11 1%frac12; oz.) Ghirardelli chocolate chips milk or semi-sweet to your taste

  • Note - Canela cinnamon is a Mexican cinnamon that is a bit more mild and
    sweet. If you cannot find it, use 2 tsbp of regular cinnamon or (better)
    toast and grind enough cinnamon sticks to yield 3 tablespoons. This might be 4-5 long sticks or 8-10 short sticks.

  • Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 325º

  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. You can use just one cookie sheet if that is all you have; you'll just have to do them in batches.

  • Stem and seed the chilies. Toast in dry pan over medium heat until they are aromatic. They may begin to smoke a bit but do not let them burn. Grind finely and reserve 3 tablespoons.

  • Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, chili powder and cinnamon together in a
    medium bowl; set aside

  • Beat butter and sugars together until well blended. Beat in egg, yolk and
    vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat a low speed until combined.

  • Fold in the chololate chips.

  • Drop in well rounded large tablespoon-sized pieces onto cookie sheet, leaving 2”

  • Bake, reversing pan(s) from top to bottom and front to back after 8 minutes.
    Continue baking until done, about 8 minutes. Check after 5 minutes, when done, edges should be starting to harden but centers will be soft.

  • Cool on the cookie sheet.


    I do love the drawing of the cookie, it is classic.

    I've decided to include more drawings from now on. I bought a load of pads, pens, colored pencils, and the like yesterday have have begun playing with them. I used to draw a lot back in my college days and am determined to resurrect the habit. I'm very rusty, though, and need a lot more practice.

    I'd have to say that retirement seems to be working out quite nicely for you!

    I'm glad that you're drawing again, Dad. I told you that I have been, too, right? I got some really great brush tip pens.

    I liked the cookies a lot, as did my office and my party guests. They still don't take the place of basic chocolate chip, though. That's been imbedded in me since childhood.

    Hi Bro,
    The recipe will be put to the test over the cold, cold weekend. A little chili might make me less chilly. This sounds like a savory treat--anything chocolate tempts my tastebuds.
    Your sketch is quite cookie-like, a real inspiration to get in that kitchen and start baking. Thanks!
    Love you

    not that i ever dislike a desert, but my verdict on the cookies? YUM SCRUMPTIOUS!

    haha, juuuuuust kidding

    Chocolatey, cinnamonny, speecy-spicey hint of warmth lingers on the palate.
    A winner, especially on a cold winter's day.


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    This page contains a single entry by published on January 28, 2004 3:53 PM.

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