Hot & Spicy Desserts

Written by Melinda Strauss on Wednesday, 29 February 2012. Posted in Food Mood

In time for Purim when we celebrate venahafoch hu - a reversal and flip of the usual, Melinda Strauss from Kitchen-Tested shares her own reverse dessert: The spicy dessert! Melinda always comes up with creative ways to bring flavors together, and this example doesn't disappoint.  - CookKosher

Whenever I don’t want my 3-year-old son, Zach, to steal food off of my plate, I just tell him that it’s spicy! He doesn’t even think twice about it. He just walks away. Okay, I’ll admit it, sometimes I’m not even eating something spicy but I am really particular about the food on my plate and I selfishly want to eat it all. Is that so wrong??

To make matters more confusing for Zach, I’ve started adding extra spice to my desserts and now he doesn’t know what he can eat! "Zachy, don’t eat the cookies because they are VERY spicy!" I say, and he gives me a strange look. In his cryptic language, he says "but Mommy, they are cookies! How can they be spicy?" So I let him try one. Big mistake! One tall glass of milk later and Zach is back to normal, playing in the other room as far away as he can get from my spicy desserts. 

If you’re a fan of spicy food, and even if you’re not, it’s time to enter the world of hot and spicy desserts. My husband and I love to add hot sauce to everything but until recently, we never thought of bringing the heat to the sweets. Since pouring hot sauce on my chocolate chip cookies just sounds disgusting, I decided to add the spice from scratch to bring the heat from the inside out. 
This recipe for double chocolate chip cookies is my absolute favorite! I altered my original chocolate cookie recipe by infusing the margarine with fresh jalapeno for some extra spice and adding roasted pine nuts to balance the heat. Any time you enhance butter or margarine with other flavors, such as herbs, spices and aromatic liquids, it is called a compound.
For this Compound Margarine, I melted the margarine in a small saucepan with a sliced jalapeno, seeds included, and simmered for 10 minutes to infuse the spice and heat of the jalapeno right in. I strained the margarine to remove the pepper and seeds then cooled in the refrigerator until solid. If you make enough compound margarine, you can wrap the leftovers in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use. I suggest smearing on bread or placing a dollop on a juicy steak.  
Your first bite of the cookie will taste chewy and chocolaty and you might just think that the jalapeno hasn’t made any impact on the recipe. Just give it 10 seconds and the heat will creep up on you! The great thing about spice is that it opens your taste buds and enhances the flavor of the chocolate. It isn’t too spicy that you will spit the cookie out but just enough to feel the spice in the back of your mouth. These are not cookies for the faint of heart!


If you’re looking for something a bit spicier, try out this extra-spicy apple pie (link to pie recipe)! The sprinkling of ground cayenne pepper and ground ginger on the thinly sliced tart apples adds some serious heat to an otherwise simple and delicious apple pie. Just think of a Hot Tamale candy in a pie crust.

To enhance the spicy ingredients in my apple pie, I updated my original recipe by removing the lemon juice and replacing the granulated sugar with light brown sugar. The crunchy and flakey crust, brushed with whipping cream and sprinkled with sanding sugar for added sweetness, added balance to the intense heat from the spices.  

Just don’t forget to warn your guests before they take their first bites of your spicy desserts! Maybe have some fruit salad and chocolate cake on the table for anyone who can’t handle the heat. Enjoy!  

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About the Author

Melinda Strauss

Melinda Strauss, a food blogger from Woodmere, New York, loves to be adventurous and daring in the kitchen. After her two young children go to bed, the pots and pans come out and the escapades begin. Melinda hopes to inspire her readers by adding fresh twists to simple recipes and bravely using unusual ingredients in an accessible way. She especially loves to take recipe requests from fans, so visit Melinda on her blog kitchen-tested to find her recipes and share your reviews. 

Comments (1)

  • CookMama
    02 March 2012 at 01:09 |

    I can't wait to try the Cayenne Cinnamon Apple Pie recipe. Never thought about spicing up apple pie. My family loves any kind of apple pie and I am looking forward to making this recipe and seeing what they think of it. Thank you!

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