Saturday, January 12, 2008

Super Secret Double Chocolate Cookies

As mentioned previously, this was a banner year for cookies. The biscotti I made was perfect, stayed blonde yet crisp. Herbed shortbread was scented with lavendar without hinting of soap. But the stand out was this Mexican Double Chocolate Orange Cookie. My husband is a huge fan of orange with dark chocolate and a recent convert to spicy Mexican and Jamaican choc-o-treats. So he wanted a cookie with all that magic cookie mojo goin' on. Here's what I came up with.

Take the recipe off the back of a Nestle's White Chocolate Chip bag for Chocolate Toll House Cookies. Forget the white chips, save them for some other project. When it calls for the cocoa powder, use the darkest, richest baking powder you can find. Now, grate in the zest of two oranges and about 6 drops of orange oil from a good spice shop*. No oil? Use about 2 tsp. of orange flavoring. Mix per recipe and shake in 3 stout shakes of Cayenne Pepper, about 1/3 a tsp. Mix well. Drop balls of dough onto cookie sheets, bake as directed on package. Soon as you pull them out, gently press a Hershey's Special Dark Select kiss into the middle of each cookie. The bottom of the kiss melts into the cookie to stick it there. Carefully transfer to a drying rack or clean dishcloth to cool. Do not move until totally cooled and the kisses are set hard again.

These cookies are full of chocolatey orange goodness and the pepper gives them a zing, but you can't identify it as cayenne or taste it as such. They were a hit with our family and friends, so give it a try!

* A note on GOOD spice shops. Often you can get great spices and great prices at international or ethnic specialty grocers. Also try local spice shops like Soulard Spice Shop here in St. Louis. I also love Penzey's. While it is a national chain, they are quality minded. I've never gotten anything but wonderfully fresh product from them. They have many retail outlets, or you can find them on the web at

No comments: