Late August means two things in south Texas – unbearable heat and hatch chiles.
Before moving to Houston, I’d never heard of hatch chiles. But then again, I hadn’t tried real barbeque or experienced a drive-thru margarita bar either. Nonetheless, the arrival of these firey peppers got me thinking… mostly about baking.
The Houston Chronicle published a fantastic chocolate cookie recipe in August 2008 featuring these chiles. And this is the recipe I ended up using to create the cookies featured in this post. You can preview the original recipe here.
If you read this blog regularly you’ll immediately notice that these cookies aren’t my usual paleo variation. Maybe someday I’ll rework the recipe, but for now I’m just going to enjoy.
Before you get started, you’ll need to know two things: (1) these cookies are going to take a bit of time to make and (2) they are absolutely worth the effort!
Enjoy! And happy Labor Day!
Texas Hot Chocolate Cookies
Note: The recipe below is a slightly modified version of the recipe that originated in the Houston Chronicle in 2008, which was developed by Dai Huynh. See the article here.
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped mild Hatch chiles
- 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold coffee
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small food processor, purée chiles with 2 tablespoons water; set aside.
- Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring to a simmer. Melt chocolate chips in top. Set aside and allow to cool to the touch.
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar at high speed until fluffy. Reduce to medium speed and add egg, vanilla, coffee extract and chile mixture. Gradually add melted chocolate, mixing until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture. When flour is just blended, fold in walnuts and cherries with a spatula.
- With an ice-cream scoop, form balls of about 2 tablespoons dough. Place about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 10 -12 minutes, or until tops set. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
- I started by roasting the hatch chiles. I did this by placing them under a broiler for 15 minutes and then popping them into a plastic bag for 20 minutes where they further steamed inside the bag. The steaming process makes the charred skin easy to peel.
- You can very easily adjust the heat of this recipe. I added about 2 tablespoons of roasted chiles, but the original recipe calls for ¼ cup. I will definitely add the ¼ cup for the next batch. This batch had a mild, but nice amount of heat with just the 2 tablespoons.
- When the batter is complete, it will resemble whipped chocolate mousse. It’s wonderfully airy and has a light chocolate hue.
- The original recipe calls for baking the cookies for 12 minutes. My cookies were done in 10. My cookies are crisp on the outside and chewy in the center.
- I highly recommend that you serve these cookies with a spice flavored coffee such as cinnamon.
A Look at the Process