Chef John's Chili Chocolate Cookies

20 Reviews 5 Pics
  • Prep

    20 m
  • Cook

    15 m
  • Ready In

    45 m
Recipe by  Chef John

“Just like adding a pinch of salt to dessert recipes makes them even sweeter and more delicious, the addition of pepper in this cookie really makes the chocolate even more chocolaty. The cookies aren't really spicy, but you can definitely tell something strange and wonderful is happening.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 24 cookies



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  3. Heat currants and coffee liqueur in a saucepan over low heat until it begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Combine unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and butter in bowl. Place bowl on top of a saucepan filled with 1-inch of water set over low heat. Stir chocolate mixture occasionally until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Mix flour, black pepper, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in large bowl and set aside.
  6. Whisk sugar and eggs in a small bowl until light, fluffy, and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in vanilla and melted chocolate mixture.
  7. Fold flour mixture into sugar and chocolate mixture until combined.
  8. Stir in dark chocolate chips and liqueur-soaked currants.
  9. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are almost set, about 12 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and leave on baking sheets to cool, 5 minutes.
  12. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to finish cooling, 5 minutes.

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Reviews (20)

Rate This Recipe


Awesome cookies! I like to try my best and make the recipes the first time exactly like they are written but I had a hard time finding dark chocolate chips. I substituted the left over 2 ozs of bittersweet chocolate from the 4oz bar, chopping it into 1/2 inch pieces. I used good chocolate, fresh ground black pepper and opened a new jar of cayenne. I baked them on parchment at 350 for 12 minutes, cooled on the pan for 5 minutes and transferred to the rack. I had a "warm" cookie and one that had set a couple of hours. I preferred the one which sat as the flavor was much better. Oh and it was so good with a cup of espresso. Thank you so much for the recipe! BTW this is my first review after trying many, many recipes. They were that good!



I made this recipe just as Chef John said to, right down to the grinding of the black pepper. But it was that pepper that made me rate this a 4 rather than a 5. We thought 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper was just a little too much, and for that ingredient in a cookie, that is more important than if this were a main dish of some sort. I would suggest trying only 1/4 teaspoon. I loved how the cookies retained their shape and how wonderfully chocolatey they are. I baked them on parchment for 11 minutes and that was perfect---just a little underdone in the middle. It was hard to find the currants, but Sprouts had them! I got about 30 cookies with a 2-tablespoon scoop. I'll definitely make these again with my adjustment. Thanks, Chef!



I was fascinated by this combination even though I have tried other similar recipes. I followed this exactly, except for omitting the currants in one half. For my taste, I found the amount of cayenne pepper too overpowering against the very strong taste of the chocolate. I also preferred the batch without the currants. The video presentation was most helpful, but I wished I had watched it first because I beat the eggs and sugar until thick and it made the cookies too puffy. In the video version,chef John just blended everything with a whisk. Further, the currant mixture as well as the chocolate can both be done in the microwave, making this a very easy and quick recipe.

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Amount Per Serving (12 total)

  • Calories
  • 272 cal
  • 14%
  • Fat
  • 14.3 g
  • 22%
  • Carbs
  • 36.4 g
  • 12%
  • Protein
  • 3.9 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 39 mg
  • 13%
  • Sodium
  • 74 mg
  • 3%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Chocolate Tres Leches Cake


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White Chocolate Pudding Shots