Spicy little numbers..

I thought a chocolate cookie with a touch of spice would add a little kick to this year's holiday collection..I found this recipe on Savour-Fare which apparently is originally from Martha Stewart. Be careful about overcooking these...my cookies turned out a bit on the hard side while the description said they should be soft and chewy. Also, I was out of chili powder due to a recent chili cook-off at work (no, I didn't win), so I decided to go with some cayenne pepper instead. Fresh out of the oven, I felt like I could really taste the cayenne pepper but the spicy bite seemed to mellow the next day (in other words, don't be afraid of the cayenne).

Aztec Chocolate Cookies

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Hershey's cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, spices and cocoa powder; set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add honey and vanilla.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 tablespoon of boiling water (I am not really clear on the significance of this step but I did it anyway).

Add 1/2 of flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture. Beat in dissolved baking soda, followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 2 inch balls, roll in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Using the bottom of a clean glass, slightly flatten the cookies before putting in the oven.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until surfaces crack slightly (note: my surfaces didn't really "crack" which is how I ended up over cooking them. I would recommend cooking 15-18 minutes and then checking to see if the tops of the cookies look done.)


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