Cayenne, chipotle, black pepper—they're ingredients you're more likely to use in dinner than dessert. But we love our spicy sweets. A little heat can be just the thing to contrast a cool granita, or play up the dark, earthy flavors of chocolate. Here are 15 spicy sweets we love, from spiced candied nuts to aji-chipotle chocolate cookies.
Cookies and Brownies
Fudgy, Spicy Cinnamon Chile Brownies: Bright, acidic guajillo pepper and cinnamon spice up the chocolate.
Chocolate Chili Cookies: "Ancho chile powder adds a subtle, smoky heat that deepens the flavor of the chocolate."
Double Chocolate Icebox Cookies With Aji And Chipotle: "The acidic natural cocoa in the dough is highlighted by aji panca, a light and very fruity (almost blueberry-like) chile. There's also some chipotle sneaked in for richness and a smokiness to contrast the cocoa's brighter notes."
Chewy Ginger Cookies: Black pepper and cardamom further spice up these super-gingery cookies.
Ice Cream and More
Spiced Vanilla Ice Cream: Vanilla's dark, rich flavor is brought out by black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon.
Black Cardamom and Black Pepper Ice Cream: "Sweet and smoky with a slight black pepper kick, and deep spice aroma."
Mint and Green Chile Granita: "The spicy kick harmonizes with mint's bright notes, and the verdant green flavors bring out mint's grassy elements."
Spiked and Spiced Grapefruit Paletas: "This grapefruit-tequila paleta is particularly refreshing. If you want an extra kick, blend a bit of the chiles with the grapefruit base, or infuse the simple syrup with more chiles."
Cakes and Pies
Hot and Spicy Chocolate Cake: Mole adds unexpected depth and earthy spice to this chocolate cake—with a Kahlua whipped cream to lighten it up.
Spicy Hot Chocolate Pie: Cayenne in the filling and chili in the whipped cream add heat to this creamy pie.
Candied Pecans With Aleppo: Sweet, hot, and spicy, these candied nuts are dangerously easy to eat.
Mexican-Spiced Chocolate Pecans: These chocolaty nuts are flavored with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, then get a kick from some cayenne pepper
Quatre Épices Candied Nuts: This recipe is a cross between candied nuts from street carts you get piping hot in wintertime, and a brittle. Quatre épices is a traditional French blend of spices made from cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper