This year, I am spicing up my Valentine’s Day chocolate cookies with cayenne and cinnamon. (Along with a nod to February snow by including some marshmallows.) Cayenne pepper and cinnamon create a complex chocolate cookie just right for a Valentine’s Treat that says, “You spice up my life!”
I know this all sounds a little unlikely but trust me on this one. I first made these for Christmas and was told by my family that these might be the best cookies I have ever made. My family can be tough critics, so I am choosing to believe them!
The trick to these cookies is in your freezer.
Let me show you!
The cookies are best made over the course of two days.
Make the batter by mixing together butter and brown sugar, adding eggs and vanilla and then the dry ingredients. Including a healthy amount of cayenne pepper. I used one teaspoonful. That amount gave the cookies a definite bite at the end. You can cut this down if you are wary of heat. I wouldn’t use less than 3/4 of a teaspoon or you won’t get the effect of the pepper.
Finally stir the marshmallows into the batter.
Use a cookie scoop to make mounds or balls of the batter. Try and hide the marshmallows inside the cookies as best you can.
Put the cookies on parchment paper sheets in an airtight container. The sheets will keep the layers of cookies separate, making it easier to take them out when it is time to bake them. Put the container in the freezer overnight. The marshmallows in the cookies really need to be frozen solid so that they don’t melt too quickly while the cookies bake. If they aren’t hard frozen, they will disappear into the batter. The frozen cookies can be kept for up to a month before baking.
When you are ready to cook them, working in batches take the cookies out of the freezer. Roll the cookies in cinnamon sugar and bake them right away (got to keep those marshmallows cold!)
Let the finished cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before moving them to a rack to cool completely.
My Spicy chocolate cookies will start with a taste of cinnamon and a little crunch, followed by a soft interior with some pillowy marshmallow and ending with a pop of heat from the cayenne pepper. It’s kind of the perfect metaphor for Valentine’s Day and Romance, don’t you think?
CHOCOLATE COOKIES WITH CAYENNE AND CINNAMON
- 3 c flour
- 1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 c butter softened
- 3 c brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 3 c mini marshmallows
- ½ c sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
PREPARE THE BATTER
- Cookies are best made over the course of two days.
- Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Beat together the brown sugar and butter for 6 to 8 minutes until light and very fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy (about two minutes). Add the flour and mix until well combined. Stir in the marshmallows.
Use a cookie scoop to make the dough into balls of of cookies (2-3 tablespoons each). Try to keep the marshmallows hidden in the cookies. Place the round balls in a large container, separating the layers with parchment paper. Freeze overnight.
BAKE THE COOKIES
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in batches, remove the cookies from the freezer and roll them in the cinnamon sugar.
- Bake the cookies immediately for 13-15 minutes until they puff slightly.
- Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: Frozen cookies can be stored for up to a month before baking