We got together with Kitty last week, for one of our TFK meetings in which we brainstorm about recipe ideas, projects and regular good old girl talk. We usually take advantage of our meetings to bake something and this was no exception. Lately, we’ve been on a quest to find chile de árbol (a Mexican chili pepper) to try it on a cake, so while looking for other recipes we can use that type of chili pepper in, we came across this one.
Neither of us had made sandwich cookies before, and while we did not have the chile de árbol yet, we decided to substitute with cayenne pepper. Usually, you would make a ball with the dough, roll it around in the sugar and then press it down with a glass or something to form the cookies. You can certainly do that, but this method makes a much prettier cookie. ( I didn’t damp my hands with water though). Since we don’t get obsessed about recipes at all…(right) we already have about 3 more sandwich cookie recipes we want to try, immediately! So we will be posting more of them in the following weeks. We found ones with Nutella or salted caramel fillings!
To describe this recipe’s taste: They are very chocolatey, you can taste the cinnamon right away and you get a slight kick from the cayenne pepper. Kitty’s father already decided he wants these cookies to be included on her recipes for Christmas, so that should give you an idea of how good they are.
We hope you give them a try! Maybe you’ll include them among your recipes for the upcoming holidays too.
Spicy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Recipe adapted from Elizabeth Belkind, LATimes
Makes 20 2 ½-inch cookies
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon high quality pure vanilla extract
1 cup white sanding sugar for decoration (we used regular sugar)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, at medium speed and using the paddle attachment, paddle the butter until soft and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue mixing until light and fluffy.
- In a small bowl, combine the eggs and vanilla, then add them to the butter and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients in three or four increments with the mixer running on medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a tablespoon, scoop medium rounds of cookie dough on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not worry about arranging the cookies properly at this time.
- Place the sanding sugar (or regular sugar) in a small bowl. Dampen your hands lightly and roll each mound of dough into a round ball, then press the dough between your palms to flatten slightly. Dip the top of each cookie into the sanding sugar, making sure each cookie is completely and evenly coated on all sides. Arrange the cookies on the baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches on all sides of each cookie.
- Bake the cookies for 12 minutes (start checking at 10 minutes), rotating the tray front to back halfway through baking. The surface of the cookies should look cracked. If they do not, bake for another minute or two. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a cookie rack before you fill them with ganache.
1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 pinches of cayenne pepper (more if you want them hotter!)
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large metal or glass bowl.
- In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the heavy cream and the cayenne pepper.
- Over medium heat bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Turn the heat off and allow the cream to steep for 15 minutes.
- Bring the cream back up to a rolling simmer. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Allow the cream to melt the chocolate slowly. Do not stir for 10 minutes.
- With a spatula, begin to stir together the chocolate and cream. If necessary, use a whisk to fully incorporate the ingredients.
- Cover the ganache with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop, twenty to thirty minutes, before using (if you refrigerate the ganache overnight, you will need to let it come almost to room temperature to give it a spreadable consistency).
- Spread about 1 tablespoon of ganache on half the cookies, then top them with another cookie to create a sandwich.
- Press the cookies together gently between the palms of your hands to flatten the filling slightly and distribute it more evenly between the cookies.
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