I’m sure it sounds hipster, but Tony and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, on account of I think it’s a completely manufactured holiday. He doesn’t mind that together we boycott. Illustrative aside: Today on the ski lift I looked at Tony and said: “Tomorrow is Valen-times Day.” “It is?” he asks. “Well, I can tell I’m getting something good,” I retort. He grins, then asks, “Do we do cards for Valentine’s Day?” We don’t.
I digress. Anyway, I do like chocolate, and it seems like these cookies are perfect for Valentine’s Day, in case you are late to the party and haven’t made your Valentine’s Day treats. Or if you’re like me and just want an excuse to make something yummy. These cookies are tender, bordering on gooey, chocolate-y (of course!) with a hint of cherry, and end with a little heat. Do I have to twist your arm?
2 sticks butter, softened
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon hot red pepper powder (NOT chipotle or black!)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ bag mini chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
Sprinkles, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix dry ingredients, except sugar, and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in almond extract. Add dry ingredients in 3 or more additions, stirring until just blended. Mix in chocolate chips. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. When the cookies are no longer shiny, they are done. They will not be firm-set. Let cool on pan for a couple minutes, then move to wire racks to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for about a week, if they last that long. Makes about 35.
I definitely recommend the mini chips, because they get meltier (yep, that’s a word), but by all means use what you like. You’ll note that I only use ½ a bag…you are welcome to use more, but remember how I don’t love chips?
If you’re not afraid of raw egg (ie – you taste your cookie dough), adjust the chili powder to your desires. Start with ½ a teaspoon and work up. These are not hot, but do have some kick that you notice when the cookie is no longer in your mouth. Also, you should know that you can’t taste anything peppery…just the heat at the end.
Edit: Apparently also good with 2/3 cup regular cocoa powder if you don’t have the Special Dark. And excellent as a sandwich cookie with marshmallow fluff filling 😉