Chocolate & Cayenne Cookies

These little nibbles are a really versatile addition to the recipe repertoire.  With a bit of sweetness, a dusting of saltiness, and a surprise hint of spice at the end they pair really well with sparkling wines and aperitifs.  I typically serve them before dinner as an appetizer that gets the pallet going and provides just enough of a base in the stomach for continued alcohol enjoyment.  Try these with the Parmesan Rosemary cookies and your guests will be really surprised by these savory cookies.

chocolate-cayenne-cookies

 

Ingredients – makes about 3 dozen

  • 180g flour
  • 165g cocoa powder
  • 2g cayenne pepper
  • 3g fine sea salt
  • 225g butter at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 40g powdered sugar
  • 25g sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Preparation

  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, cayenne, and sea salt in a bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly.
  • In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on low speed until combined and creamy.
  • With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolk and mix until combined.  Then add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  • Place the mixture onto a work surface covered with wax paper and knead just until the dough has come together.
  • Split the dough into two equally sized pieces and flatten into a disk shape.
  • Roll out each disk between two sheets of wax paper to 1/4 in thickness.  Slide each disk (in between the wax paper) onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (normal oven) or 325ºF (convection oven) and line two baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.
  • Remove one piece of dough from the freezer and punch out circles using a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter or ring mold.
  • Place the cookies on the baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper about 1 inch apart and sprinkle with the fleur de sel
  • Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets half-way through.  Let the cookies cool and then seal in an air tight container.
  • The cookies can be kept for 2 -3 days and the dough up to two weeks if frozen.

chocolate-cayenne-cookies

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