Last year, Santa was tickled to find Pistachio Orange Cocktail Cookies and a martini when he came down our chimney. This year, he's really going to love these Chocolate Cayenne Cocktail Cookies with a glass of fruity, Italian Lambrusco. These one-bite wafers practically melt in your mouth, as the chocolaty-salty-sweetness is followed by a subtle kick of spice on the finish. Wonderfully addicting.
Chocolate-Cayenne Cocktail Cookies
Dorie Greenspan, Food & Wine
Makes about 6 dozen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Recommended: Valrhona)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
Maldon salt, for sprinkling
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, cayenne and sea salt into a bowl and whisk to combine.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with both sugars at low speed until creamy. Add the egg yolk and beat until smooth, then add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently until it comes together. Divide the dough in half and press each half into a disk. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Slide the wax paper–covered disks onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour, until very firm.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one piece of dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of wax paper. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies as close together as possible. Arrange the cookies about 1 inch apart on the parchment paper–lined baking sheets and sprinkle with some Maldon salt. (Newfie Note: The recipe doesn't say this, but I was able to get another 20 cookies with the leftover scraps, using the same procedure above).
Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until they are just firm; shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
MAKE AHEAD The rolled-out frozen cookie dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept frozen for up to 2 weeks. The baked cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.