Sunday, July 15, 2012

Like Whipped Cream for Hot Chocolate Cookies

There are some books that fill me up so much that when I finish them, I feel drained. I feel like flipping back to page 1 and beginning again, to try and recapture all the emotions I felt while reading it the first time.

Like Water for Chocolate is absolutely one of those books. It may have just earned itself a spot on my list of all-time favorites (hmm, maybe I should actually write that down).

For a few weeks now, people have been telling me I should read this book (friends, family members, even customers at my job), and I kept saying, "Okay, I'll get to it," with nothing more than vague curiosity.

But when my new stepmom asked if I wanted anything from a trip to the bookstore, the title popped into my head, and I asked if she could pick me up a copy if she found it. It was a closing store sale (and that fact makes my heart hurt), and she managed to find the book for a mere $6, in hardcover!

So I started reading. And I couldn't stop. I stayed up too late and got up too early, just to read more of this book. I read and reread passages that I loved, and I laughed and I cried and I swooned and I hurt.

This beautiful book is filled with so much passion-- passion for food and cooking and family and tradition and love and individuality and newness and more more more. It starts each chapter with a recipe, and ends each chapter with emotion-- raw, red anger or falling, gaping pain or soaring love.

Which brings us to these beauties. I love spicy things, but I'm the first person to pour a glass of milk to drink with my curry or salsa or bowl of chili. It's not because I'm a wimp about spice (I am not), but because the combination of hot and cold just works so well.

I'd made spicy chocolate cookies before, but never this delicious, and never with whipped cream this thick (thanks to my lovely mother, who bought me this amazing contraption). But let me warn you-- this is not for the weak of tongue. I got more than one comment that these were a tad too spicy, to which I say lame!! you may take out some of the spices if you'd like. I used heaping teaspoons.

Don't judge.

I hope Tita would be proud of these. If these cookies had the power that Tita's food had, I think they'd make you go reread your favorite book.

Hot Chocolate Cookies with Whipped Cream

Hot Chocolate Cookies

2 c flour
⅔ c unsweetened cocoa powder
½ t cinnamon
½ t cayenne pepper
½ t ancho chile pepper
½ t salt
1 c unsalted butter (softened)
½ c plus 2 T sugar (and extra for dusting the cookies)
2 t vanilla extract

1. Sift the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, peppers, and salt together in one bowl; set aside.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, or at least as un-grainy as you can get it.

3. Add in the vanilla.

4. Add in the flour mixture, just a bit at a time. At this point, I started using my hands to knead it a bit as well.

5. Once it's all mixed, you have two options. You could roll out the dough evenly onto a prepared cookie sheet, or you can roll balls of dough and space them out very far from one another on the prepared cookie sheet. If you choose the latter (I did), then you want to press the cookie-balls down until they're flat and cookie-like, then sprinkle them with sugar. I wish I'd taken a picture of my method; I dipped the bottom of my mom's French press glass in a bowl of sugar and used that to press them into these little beauties.

6. Put in the fridge and let chill for 30 minutes. Fun fact: my friend and I made these while helping my mom move. The dough was made while the cars were loaded up, and while on our lunch run, we stopped by the old house, threw the cookies in the oven, ordered lunch, took the cookies out, and took them with us to the new house.

7. Preheat the oven to 275°F (135 C).

8. Bake for 30-45 minutes in the middle of the oven. After 15-20 minutes, rotate the pans.

9. Put on a cooling rack. Do as I say and not as I do-- which was to immediately dump the cookies into a paper bag and rush out of the house.

Whipped Cream

1 c heavy (whipping) cream
½-1 T vanilla (or any flavor you feel like) extract
½-2 T sugar (to taste)

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it is the consistency you want. It's important to taste along the way! Or buy the awesome whipped cream maker and create billowy clouds of glory.

These cookies are best enjoyed with a tall glass of water (you've already got your chocolate and your dairy covered, after all) and a good book.


  1. Those were delicious! Not too spicy at all :) I love your blog, it gets better every week.

  2. this latest blog touches my heart. you are really something special and smart. you are amazing, miss baketress.

  3. Baketress,

    There are desserts for the sweet tooth, desserts for the decadent, even desserts for the milder mouth; but you have you created something for the wild and passionate taste buds that see spice and just want more of it. I have actually had cookies very similar to these and I could not get enough of them. I am more eager to try yours however because the cookies I had lacked the creamy component of the whipped cream which I think pushes this recipe over the edge. On a completely different note, I am reading a great book too and your words make me want to read that book and be with those whom I love. You have talent baketress, keep on using it.

    Your humble servant,

    Dorian Gray

    1. You're my favorite comment person. Bake with me!