Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ring of Fire Dirty Chocolate Chipotle Cookies

Thanks to all who attended last week’s Dirty Sugar Cookie Swap at Vox Pop! One of the best things to come out of it, besides the formation of a brand new bookstore / coffeehouse band and a heightened resolve to get my recently completed, but as yet unpublished children’s book Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo into the hands of discerning tots, was the recipe for these Chocolate Chiptole Cookies. It's true that the slow-blooming, fiery flavor took a couple of unsuspecting, young sweet tooths by surprise. I do hope, for their mother’s sake that the discomfort was confined to one orifice. Let that be a lesson to those who can’t stand the heat to keep their hands out of my cookie jar.

Ring of Fire Dirty Chocolate Chipotle Cookies

Throw a couple of sticks of butter on the counter when you wake up to pee in the middle of the night, otherwise you’ll forget to factor in the time it needs to soften up.

Whenever you’re ready to take it up a notch, melt a cup and a half of bittersweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, or whatever jive-ass rig you can think to improvise after selling your grandmother’s double boiler for like, a dollar, when you were leaving Chicago. It’s okay. I’m sure that dollar is continuing to give you endless amounts of pleasure! Well done! You can proceed with the recipe while the chips melt and cool, unless you’re in one of those maudlin moods where you’re actively seeking spilled milk to cry over.

Remove the butterwrappers, toss the butter in the bowl, and give it the old in-and-out with your electric mixer. Add two cups of packed brown sugar and one and a half cups of white sugar. Whip that up.

You really need go no further if low-maintenance dessert is what you seek, but those who’ve signed up for the full course should add two teaspoons of chipotle powder and then sift in a cup of chocolate drink mix. When I got the idea to replicate the spicy Mexican hot chocolate I so love in cookie form, I was thinking I’d grind me up a canned chipotle in the blender, but everything I dredged up on the Internet supported the use of powdered chilis. Odds remained good that I’d be the maverick who ruined a half-pound of butter and two packages of chocolate chips with her pig-headedness and a canned chiptole, but then lo and behold, Met Foods has started stocking the powdered stuff. Management no doubt fears that they’ll be shut down and replaced by a combination Starbucks-American Apparel if they fail to keep up with the tsunami of trendiness that has engulfed Smith Street. (Speaking of powder, I’d forgotten to check if I had any cocoa powder before hitting the grocery, which is how I wound up using the store brand Quik I unearthed at the back of the cabinet, behind a jar of ghee I bought in the East Village (before Milo was born, from a store that no longer exists). Now I’m out of store brand Quik, which probably means next time I’ll use cocoa powder. I leave it to your discretion. Just don’t buy Nestles.

Okay, crack in four eggs! How’s that for holiday excess, Senor Fezziwig?

Add a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of vanilla.

Here’s the part where the cheapo electric mixer you publicly claimed would never break breaks. Good thing you didn’t toss all your wooden spoons on the bonfire when you brought that thing home.

Add the melted chocolate and stir, even if you have to use one of those cardboard things from the bottom of a wire hanger. (So crafty!)

Ciombine (that’s a typo, but it looks kind of Italian and foodie-ish, so I’m leaving it as is)
4 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking soda
and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Then dump it into the sweet chocolate mixture and honey, don’t go blaming me if your bowl’s not big enough. Use your wok. Use that chamber pot you picked up at the swap meet. (Hey, has anyone tried that litterbox cake from Dirty Sugar Cookies, yet?)

Once you’ve married the moist to the dry, you can throw 2 cups of bittersweet chocolate chips at the happy couple and stir briefly to ciombine. If like me, you’ve got the hots for the hot stuff, sprinkle another 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder over the dough before giving it an hour’s respite in the refrigerator.

Is this really necessary? (The chilling, not the chipotle.) I don’t know. I dutifully chilled my dough and then, the second I pull it out, I get a phone call and before I knew it, forty-five minutes had been been sacrificed to my big yapper. Never much of a one for delayed gratification, I decided to forge ahead. It’s not like I was intending to cut them into festive shapes. Just bloop ‘em out at regularly spaced intervals on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Look at them! You know what they remind me of? A zine I saw reviewed in my first ever issue of Fact Sheet Five, called We Like Poo. Just because I never ordered it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten it. The reviewer classified it as “fringe interest” and noted that it had smelled awful.

Yum yum! Hope you remembered to preheat the oven to 350˚.

Bake them for eight minutes, which is four minutes shorter than anything I found in my online research. They should be crusted on the outside, but kind of goopy with all those melted chips oozing through the fissures. Slide them onto the baking racks you purchased the day after a trenchant and public observation that you would do no such thing and then spring them on Hansel, Gretel, Little Red, and others of their trusting, chocolate-crazed ilk.

A frozen little bird told me that these cookies have become a great favorite of the slow loading, corporate sponsored, but absolutely-adorable-in-a-disturbing-sort-of-way elves

Thanks to Lynn, the Wicked Witch of Publishing for turning me on to the possibilities of this corporate-sponsored, slow-loading, but oh so gratifying elfin transformation.


Blogger Tim said...

I seem to recall sipping aperitifs of Ciombine while sitting poolside at a villa in Tuscany. Was just as nasty as Campari, but with enough olives and hard tack, we felt "continental."

12:16 PM  
Blogger Stephanie J. Rosenbaum said...

Hey, these sound fab! But I can't find chipotle powder! I scoured the spice shelves at the Med Foods on Smith but didn't see any--is it tucked away in some special chile ghetto?

8:34 AM  

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