Recipe for Cookies Chocolat


    Cookies Chocolat

    Unfortunately, the "foodie" movie Chocolat didn't win any Oscars, but these cookies will give you just as good a feeling inside as Juliette Binoche's delights.

    3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate (I use Hershey's)
    2 teaspoons instant coffee, ground to a powder (see directions below)
    1 small dried chile pepper, ground to a powder (see directions below)
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    1 cup dark brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 cups (12 ounce bag) semisweet chocolate morsels

    Melt the unsweetened chocolate and set aside.

    Using a mortar and pestle, spice, coffee grinder, or simply the back of a spoon, grind the instant coffee granules into a powder. I use Taster's Choice successfully. (If using an instant espresso, such as Medaglia D'Oro, which I also recommend, it comes as a powder and there is no need to grind it down further.) Set the coffee powder aside.

    Also using a mortar and pestle, spice or coffee grinder, but NOT the back of a spoon, AND BEING VERY CAREFUL NOT TO GET THE DUST IN YOUR EYES OR NOSE, pulverize the seeded pod of a small, dried chile pepper. Just the red part - the skin. Really, don't use the seeds. That would be ugly and you would live to regret it. Set the powdered chile aside.

    Cindy's note: If you are lucky enough to live in the Southwest or somewhere where the dried chiles are still flexible, with an almost chewy texture, they may not grind easily in your spice or coffee grinder. Simply add a teaspoon of white sugar and they will pulverize beautifully. I use a small red "chile de arbol" for this recipe.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line your best cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not use Silpat liners for these cookies - they will not spread sufficiently).

    In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together. An electric mixer works best for this. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, the powdered instant coffee, and the ground chile and mix well. Beat in the melted but cooled chocolate. Set aside for at least 5 minutes so the flavors mature.

    In a separate small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, beating until completely blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonsful about 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

    Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes, turn the pan 180 degrees, and bake for approximately another 5 minutes or until the cookies have spread slightly and the tops have a dull, dry finish. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

    Makes 45 cookies.