Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies are a very personal thing. Everybody has a favorite cookie. Is it thick or thin? Crispy or soft? Cakey or chewy? What kind of cookie is it? Sugar? Snickerdoodle? Chocolate Chip? I firmly believe that a person's favorite cookie is the one their momma made for them when they were little. I know mine is.

My mom made thin and chewy chocolate chip cookies. I've always loved them. I remember taking bites of them, with the chocolate chips gooing out onto my chin. I loved the slight crispness of the outside, and the tender inside. I loved the brown sugar taste, and the little bit of grit between my teeth that the small amount of white sugar provided. I can still remember the slight tang of baking soda, too.

Unfortunately, the cookies of my past are just that. In my past. I've tried to recreate them..."tried" being the operative word. I haven't found the perfect recipe yet. Every time I try, I end up with a thick, pillowy cookie. My husband loves them....and I hate them.

Enter Betty Crocker. Oh how I love that woman...whoever she is. Within the last few months, Betty Crocker (General Mills) has introduced a selection of gluten free goods. While I haven't yet tried all of the products, I have tried the chocolate chip cookie mix. I know what you are thinking. A mix? Really?....... Yup. It's true. I like it. A lot!

While they're not an exact replica of my momma's cookies, Betty's cookies come awfully close. They don't have the baking soda bite, and they are a bit thinner than the ones of my childhood, but they are beautifully chewy. I really like that.

So, to mix things up tonight, instead of making the cookies as suggested on the package, I decided to get a little crazy. I thought, "why not spice these puppies up?". So I did precisely that.

I have some really nice, organic chiles from Marx Foods. I have quite a few of them, and decided to make some homemade chile powder using the Organic Aji Amarillo Peruvian Chiles. Marx has a step by step instructional page on how to make your own chile powder HERE. These guys are spicy, so be super careful not to inhale the powder...that isn't so much fun! I also used some quality cinnamon in them, which made for a really nice, complex cookie.

Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
1 stick of softened Butter
1 large Egg
splash of gluten free Vanilla

a few shakes of good quality Cinnamon


Follow the instructions on the cookie mix box. Add in the chile powder and cinnamon to taste. Taste the dough before adding too much spice, and add slowly, mixing and tasting again after each addition to make sure you don't go overboard. I like to have an immediate taste of cinnamon, with the slight burn and flavor of chiles after the initial taste. Bake the cookies according to the instructions on the box, however I do like to take the cookies out a minute or two early, so they stay softer. Be aware that the chile flavor tends to get stronger after baking.

Make sure to allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack to firm up.

Eat, eat, eat! You can share too, if you want :)

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