Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Cinnamon Chipotle Sugar Cookies

I was a little apprehensive about this week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, Chocolate Cinnamon Chipotle Sugar Cookies. In the past, I haven't been a big fan of desserts combing chocolate with cinnamon and spice. And I've always regarded iced roll and cut cookies as a huge hassle. But one of the good things about being part of the Baked Sunday Mornings group is that sometimes I get pushed out of my baking comfort zone and make recipes that I never would have tried otherwise.

This is a straightforward recipe but it does require a bit of time. I didn't have any chipotle chile powder, so I made the suggested substitution of ancho chile powder. To make the dough, you cream butter and shortening with sugar; add an egg and vanilla, followed by melted dark chocolate; and add the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and ancho chile powder). You need to chill the dough for at least two hours before rolling; I chilled mine for 24 hours.

The following day, I rolled out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and I was able to cut exactly 12 large skulls. I didn't bother re-rolling the paltry amount of dough scraps. I baked the cookies for 12 minutes, at which point the tops just appeared dry. I didn't used the recipes provided for the icing because I had meringue powder on hand and I prefer to use that instead of egg whites when making royal icing for food safety considerations. I outlined and flooded the cookies with white icing and let them dry overnight. My decorating skills are pretty rudimentary, so I kept my design simple, using only three colors and limiting myself to the most basic of patterns (and I certainly didn't have the energy to try to decorate each cookie differently).
I liked these cookies more than I thought I would. They were lightly chocolatey, and the cinnamon-ancho chile flavor was subtle but gave the cookies a warm, smoky flavor. I didn't love the soft texture of the cookies. The recipe headnote says that these cookies are crunchy, and I think I would have liked a crunchy texture better -- I should have baked them longer. While adding icing to these cookies obviously makes them more attractive, I thought that the coating of sweet icing competed with and threatened to overshadow the light spice flavor of the cookie. I was happy with the way that these cookies turned out but wasn't impressed enough to want to make them again.

Recipe: "Chocolate Cinnamon Chipotle Sugar Cookies" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "Baked Sunday Mornings: Spicy Brownies," December 9, 2012.