Natalie’s Chocolate Chile Pepper-Cinnamon Cookies

I revised this recipe by using whole-wheat flour, less sugar, and an excellent bar of chocolate.  As part of “life math,” we figured out that each cookie costs 50 cents (twice as much as our oatmeal cookie ingredients).  My mom now orders a box of chocolate bars (12 bars) from Whole Foods, so that we are always ready to bake these cookies.  With the case discount, each bar costs $3.10

This is what our friend Joyce, who is a serious baker, said after having one of these cookies:  That may be the BEST chocolate cookie I have EVER tasted!  I like everything about it!

Chocolate Chile Pepper-Cinnamon Cookies

12 oz. very dark (70%) chocolate (we have determined that Equal Exchange’s fairly-traded 71% bar is truly amazing*)

¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (we use Bob’s Red Mill)

2 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. ancho chile pepper

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

a little less than ½ cup granulated sugar

a little less than ¼ cup brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Melt 8 oz. of the chocolate (best to place bowl with chocolate over saucepan or double boiler with hot water).  Set melted chocolate aside.  Chop up remaining 4 oz. chocolate (or use dark chocolate chips instead).  Mix flour, cinnamon, chile pepper, baking powder and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter and sugars in larger bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Add melted chocolate, stir until well blended.  Gradually stir in flour mixture until well mixed.  Stir in chopped chocolate or chips.  Drop rounds spoons of dough 1 ½ inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or just until cookies are slightly cracked on top.  Cool until you can’t stand to wait any longer.  Take your first bite.  You will smile and maybe even sigh.

*Note about fair trade chocolate: Cocoa farms exploit hundreds of thousands of children to produce ingredients for multi-national candy corporations.  Choosing fair-trade chocolate is something easy, and tasty, you can do to stand up for children’s rights.  Fair-trade chocolate not only tastes really good, it does good.  You can learn more about Equal Exchange chocolate at



  • Sarvi

    Natalie, do you have any tips for preventing cookie batter from sticking to the spoon? These look great. I wasn’t aware of the issues surround cocoa bean production, thank you for mentioning it.It will be hard to give up my favorite big bags of chocolate from Surfas but it’ll be fun to taste-test ethically produced chocolates.

    • TwointheMiddle

      No tips about the spoon; it is rather annoying, isn’t it? Although a friend of ours has a little cookie scoop that works nicely (she probably found it at Surfas). Parchment paper on cookie sheets is helpful because then you don’t need to butter or wash the sheets (just wipe off with a paper towel) and the cookies come right off. Good luck with your chocolate search! Let us know if you find a delicious one.

  • Grandmama

    Just reading the recipe, Natalie, makes me sigh as my imagination works overtime on how good they must be.

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