spicy chocolate snickerdoodles

Spicy Chocolate Snickerdoodles

I’ve officially reached the time of year when my diet consists of more cookie dough than not cookie dough. I’ll tell ya, I feel pretty gross. The problem is that last week I baked 500 scones and at least as many cookies for a holiday open house, and there was a lot of, err, sampling as I went. Luckily scone dough is not good unbaked, but I did eat enough baked scones, cookies, and cookie dough to feel pretty much over baked goods for the moment.

I’m indulging in a week of clean eating before I pack up and fly halfway around the world for my first family Christmas in four years, which I am beyond excited about. I know cookies will be back in my life in very short order, hopefully more of these.

Chocolate + spicy is the one of the most awesome combinations of flavours / sensations in my books. These cookies do not disappoint. They are intensely chocolately, crisp on the outside, dreamy soft on the inside, and have a serious kick from cayenne pepper. They may just be my new favourite cookie.

For other holiday cookies you can check out my Brown Sugar Shortbread and my Grandfather’s Gingersnaps.

Spicy Chocolate Snickerdoodles // The Muffin Myth

One year ago: Cooked Eggnog

Spicy Chocolate Snickerdoodles Recipe:

These cookies pack some serious heat, which I like just fine. If you’re sensitive to spice or are baking these to share with kids, consider halving the cayenne pepper or replacing it with cinnamon, which is what I did for the open house. My personal batch, however, were dang hot and spicy.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookies via Claire K Creations

Makes 3 dozen cookies


1/2 cup (125g) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon for rolling


In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugars until well mixed and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Sift together the dry ingredients, then add all at once to the butter mixture and mix well. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until dough is firm.

Preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C (convection) or 350 F / 180 C (conventional). Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment or silpats.

Scoop tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar, then place on the baking tray. Be sure to leave a few cm between the balls so they have room to spread a bit.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are beginning to crack on the top. Remove from the oven and let sit on the trays for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack for cooling.


You’re eating cookies! Amazing hot, spicy, chocolatey cookies! Enjoy them, and remember to moderate. I’ll be back later in the week with some lighter fare to balance out all this sugar and butter, but for now you could check out this Broccoli Kamut Slaw. Its just the kind of thing I’m in the mood for right now.

Do ahead: These cookies can be made in advance and kept in an air tight container for about 3 days (good luck with that) or in the freezer for a few months. You can also make the dough and freeze that for a few months, either as one big lump, or you can roll the dough into balls and freeze them on a tray so they’re ready to pop into the oven at a moment’s notice.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012


  1. kellie@foodtoglow says

    Weirdly I am going to blog a spiced chocolate and chestnut truffle cake tomorrow (lower sugar and fat if anyone cares about that at this time of year…) so snap with the spicy chocolate things! I haven’t had to do a lot of baking this year as my daughter quite happily does that for all the school parties at this time of year, but making these I would be eating more than my fair share of dough. I used to find dough tastier than the finished product but I hope I am more sophisticated now. Ha! Have a wonderful, family Christmas back home.

  2. Tara says

    There is a chili chocolate warm pudding that I love to indulge in at Burgoo. It is warm, sweet, rich and spicy on the tongue. These cookies look like they have the same flavour combination that I love! Question: Is there a sub for cream of tartar? Not a staple I keep in the house….

    • themuffinmyth says

      Mmm, Burgoo. I’ll have to put that on my must visit list for when I’m back in town 🙂

      Cream of tartar is a dry acid. Baking powder is just baking soda with cream of tartar and cornstarch blended with it, so it is able to react with non-acidic ingredients. If you’re using natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process, which is neutral) then the cream of tartar shouldn’t be an issue. I made one batch with cream of tartar and one without, and there honestly wasn’t much difference, so I’d say you could probably safely leave it out, especially if you’re using natural cocoa powder.

  3. thelittleloaf says

    I’ve never made Snickerdoodles – I think they’re more of an American thing – but they look absolutely delicious and I really want to give them a try. Just depends if I can cram in trying another new recipe before Christmas, eek!

    • themuffinmyth says

      I’ve honestly only made snickerdoodles a couple of times – these, and a pumpkin version which is also on the blog. These are by far my favourite, but the soft, cakey inside with crunchy outside and spicy flavour is hard to beat!

  4. Kathryn says

    I love the combination of spice and chocolate too, I’m definitely going to make these when I finish work for Christmas in a couple of days!

  5. Ceri @CucinaCeri says

    Nice recipe Katie – I really admire your attitude towards the balance of indulgence and clean eating this time of year. so the question is – how cold did you get photographing the cookies out in the snow?

    • themuffinmyth says

      Pretty cold 🙂 But it was totally worth it.

      I can’t think of any other way to approach this time of year other than balanced. The last few years we’ve travelled during the holidays so haven’t really been slammed with the holiday parties (and thus, holiday food) they way its happening this year. Indulge now and then, lots of greens the rest of the time. It’s my method.


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