I’m starting my Holiday baking journey. The first one I thought I’d try (are you surprised?) is a spicy Chocolate cookie. These little bits of joy are spiced with cinnamon and cayenne. That little pinch of cayenne is just enough to give the back of your mouth a little bite of excitement. Have these with a tall glass of milk and you’re set to sit down and write those Christmas cards…people still send out Christmas cards, don’t they? I so hope we haven’t become so “digitized” that all we send out are e-cards, emails and a “Hello” on facebook.
I hope you try these, they really are tasty. AND you can’t go wrong with chocolate. Pack some in small boxes or goody bags to have on hand for dinner guests or friends or neighbors. They make a nice little surprise that say Happy Holidays.
Chocolate Caliente Cookies
A Nestle Toll House Recipe
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks, divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon (pinch) ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
MICROWAVE 1 cup chunks in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Chunks may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until chunks are melted.
COMBINE flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat well. Add melted chocolate; stir until blended. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Line baking sheets with foil.
SHAPE dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on baking sheets.
BAKE for 12 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set but still soft. Immediately place remaining chunks, about 5 to 6 chunks per cookie, onto tops of cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks. Allow chunks to soften and spread melted chocolate evenly over tops of cookies.
TIP:• For a richer chocolate flavor, substitute three 4-ounce bars of NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® CHOCOLATIER 53% Cacao Dark or 62% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chocolate, broken into pieces, for the semi-sweet chocolate chunks.