Adapted from Cooking Light Quick Baking, a magazine special, and baked by Ted. Makes 32 cookies.
5 oz bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp instant espresso (optional)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp confectioners sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with Silpats (silicone mats) or parchment paper, and set aside.
Place the chocolate in a glass bowl, and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, espresso, baking powder, salt, black pepper and red pepper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and softened butter, and beat until well blended. Add the egg, and beat well. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla, and beat just until blended. Then add the flour mixture, and beat until just blended.
Drop dough by level tablespoons (or use a small scoop with a release) 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, or until almost set. Remove from the oven, and let the cookies cool on the pans for 2 minutes or until set. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
Just before serving, dust with confectioners sugar.