During the last few days of August the East Coast had quite the visitor blow through. You may have heard about a little hurricane about 600 miles wide named Irene? She certainly wreaked havoc on all of us over on this side of the country, the fabulous Abby Dodge was no exception. She had no power for 6 days! Yet she managed, with the help of Barb, to get the August #BakeTogether roundup done and come up with our September project.
In honor of our visitor, it was decided that these cookies would be Irene cookies because their double chocolate goodness was just the thing to help us assuage the burden of Irene. She even made them look a lot like a hurricane with the chocolate filling being the eye of the storm.
For my time with Irene, I had the not so pleasant experience of working the medic truck the day that she came blowing through New Jersey. Originally, Irene was on track to hit us the hardest sometime after noon. I get to work at 6:30am so I wasn’t overly concerned about my drive in. I knew there would be hard rain but I felt confident I would arrive at work well ahead of Irene. I made sure everybody at home was ready to weather the storm in my absence. As you can see… Maddy was ready for Irene’s arrival!
Overnight, Irene gained speed. Lo and behold, I found myself driving to work through the worst part of the storm! That was particularly scary but I took my time and made it safely. From there on, Irene continued to move swiftly. By lunchtime, the sun even peeked out although fierce, dangerous winds continued to do damage to our area for the rest of the day.
Irene certainly was a feisty force to be reckoned with. She spiced up our lives on the East Coast quite a bit over the course of several days and even up to a week after her departure. For my take on Abby’s double chocolate mousse cookies, I added a bit of spice of my own. I decided to add cinnamon and cayenne pepper to my version of her double chocolate cookies. When you bite into these cookies you immediately taste the dark chocolate which is then followed by the warmth of cinnamon and cayenne.
Double Chocolate Cayenne Cookies Adapted from Abby Dodge
For the Cookies
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (preferably Mexican)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
For the Chocolate Filling
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 2 or more cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until well blended.
- In a large bowl, combing the butter, sugars and cocoa powder.
- Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until well blended, about 4 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until blended after each addition.
- Add the vanilla along with the last egg. Continue mixing on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute.
- Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix until just blended, about 30 seconds.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low-speed until mixture is well blended, about 1 minute.
- Using a 2 tablespoon min ice-cream scoop, shape the dough into balls and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are puffed and tops are cracked and look dry, about 11 to 13 minutes.
- When the cookies are just out of the oven, make a small, deep well in the center of the cookies using the rounded side of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon.
- Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- Melt the remaining chocolate and the butter in the microwave or in a bowl set over simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened.
- Scrape the chocolate mixture into a small zip-top plastic bag (or a pastry bag fit with a small plain tip.)
- Snip off a small piece of one corner and pipe the chocolate into the wells of the cooled cookies.
- Set aside 1 hour until the chocolate firms up.
- Dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately or cover and keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.