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I’ve been obsessed with chocolate chip cookies lately. I’ve made three or four batches, sharing them with friends and co-workers but eating most myself. Ever since Thanksgiving I’ve been thinking a lot about mixing sweet and spicy. I love this combination, and was inspired by chili-seasoned chocolate I bought from Trader Joe’s. Chocolate chip cookies are such a basic, run-of-the-mill cookie; crying out to be spiced up in some way.

These cookies aren’t spicy, but they have a subtle smoky spiciness, thanks to chipotle chili powder,  that really compliments the dark chocolate chips. If any of you are doing holiday baking, these might just be a good recipe to add to your mix. I don’t think they are spicy enough to put anyone off. I’d like to experiment with just how much chili powder I can add before it gets too spicy. I think 1/2 tsp. is enough to taste the chili, but not too much. If you are wary and wussy, you can add 1/4 tsp.

Smoky Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cocoa powder
1-2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 lg. egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. 60% dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 2 cookie sheets (grease or line with parchment paper or silicone mat)
Whisk flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and chili powder together. In the bowl of a mixer cream butter and sugars until well blended. Add egg, salt, and vanilla and beat until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until well blended, being careful not to over mix. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls approximately 2 in. apart on cookie sheets. Cook until brown around edges, about 10 minutes. Let them rest briefly on the cookie sheet then transfer to a rack to cool.

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