Life’s little luxuries and lots of inspiration

Texas Hot Chocolate Cookies

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

cookie platter

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

  • 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

hatch chile at Whole Foods

Did you wonder why they were called “Hatch” chiles? Me too! Never heard of them until I moved to Houston.

Traditional ingredients like brown sugar, butter and flour are the foundation for the delicious cookie batter.

Traditional ingredients like brown sugar, butter and flour are the foundation for the delicious cookie batter.

 

This recipe consists of several steps, but after you have the wet and dry ingredients measured and mixed, you are half way complete...

This recipe consists of several steps, but after you have the wet and dry ingredients measured and mixed, you are well on your way to real Texas Hot Chocolate Cookies!

I love dusting freshly backed cookies and cakes with powder sugar.  It's so much fun and it's what usually makes cookies and cakes looks so pretty!

I love dusting freshly baked cookies and cakes with powder sugar. It’s so much fun and it makes pastries look so pretty!

And of course these completed cookies couldn't be enjoyed without a cup of very good coffee!   Serve with a spice flavored coffee.  I had mine with a delicious cinnamon infused coffee from a really great bakery here in Houston.

Of course these completed cookies couldn’t be enjoyed without a cup of very good coffee! Serve with a spice flavored coffee. I had mine with a delicious cinnamon infused coffee from a really great bakery here in Houston.

Be sure to share!   Since I always have ribbon and cellophane bags on hand, I made  these cute cookie gift bags for friends I was meeting for dinner later that night.

Be sure to share! Since I always have ribbon and cellophane bags on hand, I made these cute cookie gift bags for friends I was meeting for dinner later that night.

IMG_2543

They also make a pretty cookie platter…while they last.

4 Responses to “Texas Hot Chocolate Cookies”

  1. Sandy g

    These cookies look beautiful. Have never seen Hatch peppers in Pittsburgh but am hoping to get some soon. The addition of the cherries is just what I like because I enjoy cookies with fruit. Will attempt to make these soon.

    Reply

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