Recipe: Chocolate! Spicy! Oh my! Cookies (aka Mayan Chocolate Sparklers)

So, when you're feeling a bit ho-hum in regards to another chocolate chip cookie (it happens to the best of us) but still in the baking (and chocolate) mood, have I got a deal for you!

It's sassy. It's spicy. It's the Mayan Chocolate Sparkler!

Recipe: Chocolate! Spicy! Oh my! Cookies (aka Mayan Chocolate Sparklers)

Adapted from montcarte (who adapted from Under the High Chair)
Makes about 5 dozen

Note/confession: While I try to pretend I am a risk taker (okay, I don't. And I'm not.), I actually got far too nervous to add the black pepper! I KNOW! And I'm all "oh, here, everyone, go try this!" So, for those braver than me, I will include the pepper here. And know that I plan to add it next time. Because some of us need to dip our toes in first and then we can jump in, MMMKAY?! Don't look at me like that.


½ cup granulated sugar 125 mL
1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL

¾ cup vegetable shortening 175 mL
½ cup unsalted butter, softened 125 mL
¾ cup granulated sugar 175 mL
¾ cup brown sugar, packed 175 mL
2 large eggs 2
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 5 mL
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 425 mL
1 ¼ cups cocoa powder 300 mL
1 tbsp ground cinnamon 15 mL
2 tsp baking soda 10 mL
¼ tsp salt 1 mL
¼ tsp ground black pepper 1 mL
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper 1
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 250 mL


Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping.

1. Beat shortening, butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
2. Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
3. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Roll in 1” (2.5 cm) balls, don’t flatten. Roll into cinnamon and sugar topping. Place on prepared cookie sheets, about 2” (5 cm) apart.
5. Bake 7-10 minutes. Cookies should still be soft in center. Let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Remove, cool on wire rack.

Best when accompanied with a glass of milk! Enjoy your weekend!

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