Made with a combination of cocoa and chopped chocolate, these cookies are fudgy and brownie-like. Rolling them in cayenne- and cinnamon-spiked sugar gives each cookie a crackly exterior and a subtle, lingering heat.


Makes 2 dozen


1 cup unsalted butter, at cool room temperature

1 cup (7.5 ounces) lightly packed dark brown sugar

½ cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1¾ cups (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup (4.25 ounces) cake flour

½ cup (1.5 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt

1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate


¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon organic ground cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment papere. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar and beat on medium speed until mixed. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes more. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl.


Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and cake flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.


Remove the bowl of the mixer from the stand and mix in the bittersweet chocolate with a rubber spatula until well combined. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-ounce balls (slightly larger than a golf ball). At this point, the dough balls can be refrigerated overnight or transferred to a plastic ziptop freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes and roll in spiced sugar before baking. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne. Roll each ball of cookie dough in the spiced sugar to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are puffed and cracked on top but still look soft, 9 minutes. Let cool on the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool fully. The cookies will keep in a lidded container for up to four days.