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Jul 18, 2017

Chocolate Cayenne Cookies

At first, these Chocolate Cayenne Cookies appear to be just another chocolate shortbread cookie, until just a few bites later.....

Then you feel the warmth.

These Chocolate Cayenne Cookies have an amazing deep bittersweet chocolate flavor. When you first take a bite, you think you are just having a chocolate sablé. In reality, these cookies are so much more complex.

The warmth from the cayenne pepper in these chocolate cookies sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise. It's really difficult to stop at just one.

These chocolate cayenne cookies are the perfect after dinner taste, not too filling, and perfect with red wine, a digestif, or a glass of Port.

Note #1: These cookies are finished on the surface with a flake sea salt to bring out the chocolate and pepper flavors. I used a French Fleur de Sel de Camargue, but Maldon sea salt is also perfect for sprinkling on these cookies.

Note #2: I used a blend of Dutch process and black cocoa for flavor and color, but any cocoa powder will work just fine.

These Chocolate Cayenne Cookies first appear to be just another chocolate shortbread cookie, until just a few bites later..... so much warmth

This month, the Creative Cookie Exchange bakers are making cookies with chile peppers. After the recipe, be sure to check out everyone's spicy cookies.

Chocolate Cayenne Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Cayenne Cookies Recipe


  • 204 grams (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 42 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder (see note above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40 grams (1/3 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Flake sea salt (see note above)


  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa, and cayenne together.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and salt with low speed for about two minutes. Add the powdered and granulated sugar and beat on low for about two minutes, until smooth. Add the egg yolk and beat on low until just incorporated.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula or dough whisk until just blended. Mix with the mixer paddle attachment until the flour is just fully incorporated.
  4. Divide the dough into two pieces and flatten each into a disk. Place one piece of the dough between two pieces of parchment or wax paper, and roll it out to 1/4 inch thick. Freeze the dough for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, cut the cookies into as many rounds as possible. Place the disks onto the baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, roll them out, and refreeze them. Cut and bake. You can do this in stages, baking only as many cookies as you need. 
  6. Just before baking, sprinkle the rounds sparingly with the flake sea salt. Bake the cut and salted cookies for about 10 minutes. Let them cool on the pan for about 3 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Yield: About 50 cookies
Slightly adapted from Dorie's Cookies

Check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Would you like to comment?

  1. Great minds LOL... I love chocolate and chile! I am intrigued by the Dutched cocoa in these--and glad you salted them!

    1. The black and Dutch cocoa add such a depth!

  2. I love the mix of heat and chocolate.. with a cup of coffee, I am all set!

    I miss my kitchen and cooking, and baking - one more week to go until I can get into it again.... ;-)

    1. But you are in such a beautiful place right now!!

  3. very true! Mackinac Island is a paradise on Earth... I am sitting at the hotel room, with a fantastic view ahead, relaxing after a 2 hour hike around the island... bliss!

  4. I love dark chocolate and chile together, and you have reminded me that I need to replenish my supply of black cocoa. Your cookies, as always, look spectacular and the photos are beautiful.

    1. Thanks so much Felice! And that dark cocoa is pretty spectacular, isn't it?


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