Chef John's Chili Chocolate Cookies Recipe -
Chef John's Chili Chocolate Cookies Recipe
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Chili Chocolate Cookies
See how a dash of cayenne pepper really draws out the chocolate flavor. See more
  • READY IN 45 mins

Chef John's Chili Chocolate Cookies

Recipe by  

"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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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 24 Cookies Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    45 mins


  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 More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 18, 2012

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!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 20, 2013

I tried using Splenda this time and they didn't turn out as good

May 11, 2012

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!

Feb 03, 2013

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.

Dec 16, 2012

Excellent recipe. A crowd pleaser. Currants are hard to find in our area, so I used dried cranberries which add a little hint of tartness to the cookies.

Dec 10, 2012

OMG - These cookies are WONDERFUL! I've pinned them on Pinterest, posted them on Facebook and am giving out batches in my annual cookie offerings. I've rated them "PG-13" because small humans may not appreciate the way these wonderful cookies bite back, but I promise it's just a little nip - just enough to let you know there's some pepper in there somewhere. I followed the recipe exactly and they all came out perfectly. The hardest part was making them uniform in size and shape, but I was more than happy to eat the "misshapen" cookies ... I'll be make another batch before the 2012 holiday season is over! YUMMMMM!

Mar 07, 2013

Awesome cookie! Very rich and decadent with complex flavor. I made a few changes- used cranberries instead of currants, 2 tbsp very strong coffee instead of kahlua, halved the black pepper, doubled the cinnamon and used 3/4 tsp freshly ground dried chilis instead of cayenne. I also topped each cookie with a small chunk of candied chili pepper before baking. Will make them again!

Jan 11, 2013

The cookies are fabulous. Not inexpensive, but fabulous. I don't substitute ingredients in a recipe, so what you see is what you get. Did I say fabulous? Fabulous.


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  • Calories
  • 272 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 36.4 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 35 mg
  • 12%
  • Fat
  • 14.3 g
  • 22%
  • Fiber
  • 3.3 g
  • 13%
  • Protein
  • 3.9 g
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 74 mg
  • 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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