32 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

These cookies--bittersweet chocolate that mellows the ground peppers' heat--earned our Test Kitchens' highest rating. They're lovely after dinner with a few last sips of red wine.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Place chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

Step 3

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); stir with a whisk.

Step 4

Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg; beat well. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; beat just until blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven. Cool on pans 2 minutes or until set. Remove from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.

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Ratings & Reviews

Aml's Review

April 27, 2016
These cookies are really delicious. I, like other reviewers, used 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. This offered a nice balance between spice and chocolate. I followed the recipe as written, and baked them for 10 minutes. However, next time I will bake them a minute or two longer, as they were not quite set in the middle as much as I would've preferred. Other than that, they were great...crunchy on the outside and fudgy in the middle. As another reviewer stated, these would be great for a cookie swap, and also great for anyone who likes things a little spicy. Make these!

EllenDeller's Review

September 08, 2014
Just ridiculously easy and very good. I made half the recipe with no problems. Next time, I will definitely either up the pepper or use the chipotle and ancho chile powders recommended in the spiced mexican shortbread cookie recipe elsewhere on the site. I used liquid egg substitute instead of egg, and the only drawback to that was that all my inhibitions about eating raw dough disappear! The cookie dough is like fudge. Yum! These cookies are a little delicate and I don't think they'd go in a lunchbox, but they are great for dessert with a little strawberry ice cream.

Pjfloyd's Review

July 06, 2014

leslovescookies's Review

December 30, 2013

SKarwin's Review

January 16, 2013
These were so simple to make with ingredients I already had in the pantry! Truly heart (and belly) warming on a snowy day. I used 1/4 tsp for "a dash" and had wonderfully peppery results with a warm, noticable flavor that didn't overwhelm the chocolate.

GalaxiGrl's Review

December 17, 2012
I'm not much of a baker, and I was very impressed with how easy these were to make and how good they turned out! I probably will use a little more spice next time. I think I went extra easy on it, worrying they'd be too spicy. My batch made 38 cookies, so just about what it says. The finished products were about 2 inches in diameter. Mine are a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I ended up baking them for maybe 12 minutes, instead of 10, but all ovens are different. I used parchment paper, which I now believe is foolproof! I even left one batch in a little longer, b/c I forgot about them, but they still didn't burn! My husband liked them so much, he asked me to make them again this week, but with more spice.

TeresitaK's Review

March 07, 2012
These were so yummy and chocolatey. I added a lot more pepper to give them a bit more punch. Yum!

crysmys's Review

February 15, 2012
Delicious. used Ghirardelli chocolate and 1/8 teaspoon each of the peppers. Definitely best eaten the same day.

bjj0524's Review

January 22, 2012

Lizzie4434's Review

December 15, 2011
Just made these and although tasty, they came out kind of mushy. I found a big discrepancy with measuring the flour and weighing it. I used the amount I weighed. I think maybe I should've used the measured amount instead and that would have taken care of the mushy-ness. Any thoughts out there? Love the kick though.