These decadent hot chocolate cookies melt in your mouth! Each enticing bite is bursting with bold flavors of bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, and spicy chili.
I was sipping on some hot cocoa on a chilly evening when I had a creative culinary idea. I wanted to take my tasty beverage and turn it into a sweet and spicy portable treat that could be enjoyed anytime. Chocolate, chili, and cinnamon are the perfect trio of flavors, especially when delivered in the form of these hot chocolate chili cookies!
You will love the surprise hint of spiciness. It recreates the warmth you experience when drinking a steamy cup of hot chocolate. If you haven’t tried sweet and spicy cookies yet, today is your lucky day. I’ll warn you ahead of time, they are addicting and will bring instant happiness.
The star of this hot chocolate chili cookie is the melted bittersweet dark chocolate. It balances the sweetness of the dough and mellows the heat of the chili. I recommend a 60% cacao chips, the richness of the chocolate, with a slightly bitter bite, and lingering notes of coffee is heavenly!
I’m pretty sure I ate at least a handful as I was making this batch of cookies. A generous amount of cinnamon adds warm, sweet notes just like a glass of Mexican hot chocolate. A tiny pinch of freshly grated black pepper and chili powder brings all the bold flavors together, making each bite more enticing than the last. I’m an entirely serious when I say you can’t just have one!
One of the perks of this cookie recipe is you don’t have to wait and let the dough rest before portioning. Just combine, measure, roll and bake! The mixture is thick, so I flatten it slightly, so it spreads more evenly.
These hot chocolate chili cookies are ready in about 10 minutes, once the surface becomes cracked and the edges begin to set. If the cookies have not finished baking at 10 minutes, recheck after each additional minute. A sprinkle of powdered sugar and these little guys are ready!
To take this recipe to the next level, add one to two dark chocolate chips in the center. When they are fresh from the oven, you’ve got a molten center, just like a chocolate lava cake! At least eat one right away to experience the warm and gooey center, it’s life-changing. You won’t regret it!
How Sugar Affects Cookie Texture
When fresh-baked, the cookie texture is slightly crispy around the edges and chewy in the center. I’ve found that once they completely cool and after being stored a day or two, they get more crumbly and have denser chocolate truffle texture. It’s divine!
To achieve a chewy cookie texture, the key is the type of sugars you select. It’s good to have a balance of sugar, with a humectant (sugar that attracts moisture and keeps cookie more soft and chewy). A good rule of thumb is to replace 10 to 15% of the sugar with a humectant. Examples of humectants are invert sugar, corn syrup, and honey. For this cookie, a blend of granulated sugar adds the crispiness, and honey provides the chew which is just the right combination of this decadent treat.
These hot chocolate chili cookies are the perfect sweet addition to Valentine’s Day, or anytime you need something to warm your heart. So don’t be shy, share them with people you love! Do you have any chocolate lovers in your life? Besides myself, I know a few individuals who would not mind receiving these decadent chocolate cookies as a gift!
What makes chili’s and peppers so HOT?
The chemical responsible for the spiciness is called capsaicin. The Scoville Heat Scale measures the spiciness of pepper. A sweet bell pepper would be a zero on the scale, whereas a jalapeno would be 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units. When working with chili, the inside membrane is where the heat resides. So if you want to reduce the spice intensity, remove the inside membrane of the chili. If possible, wear disposable gloves when cutting. I have many memories from culinary school, where my hands were still burning a few hours after working with chili’s, and it was horrible! Luckily burn cream an excellent remedy for capsaicin irritation! Oh yeah, please don’t even think about rubbing your eyes!
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate , (60% cacao chips)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 pinch chili powder , , ground
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter , , softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar , , sifted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place chocolate in a small glass bowl (I recommend a pyrex measuring cup). Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir gently. Heat for an additional 30 seconds, then stir until completely melted. Allow the chocolate to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium sized bowl measure ¾ cup of flour, then sift. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, black pepper and chili powder.
- Combine sugar and softened butter in a separate medium sized bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the egg and beat well about 30 seconds. Add cooled chocolate, vanilla, and honey; combine until just blended, scraping sides of bowl as needed, about 30 seconds.
- Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. The dough will have a stiff texture.
- Measure out 2 leveled tablespoons of the dough. Add 1 chocolate chip in the center (if they are large chips) or 2 chips (if they are smaller in size), and then roll gently into a ball.
- Place each cookie 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Slightly flatten each ball to achieve a flatter cookie after baking.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set. Check the appearance of the cookies after each additional minute; the cookies will change appearance very quickly. The cookies are done baking when the surface appears crackled. Remove from oven.
- Cool, the cookies on the pan for 2 minutes or until set. Remove cookies from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once the cookies are cooled to the touch, gently sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of powdered sugar topping. Enjoy cookies warm for a gooey center. Store cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cookies will be chewier over time, perfect for dipping into your favorite hot beverage!