Cinnamon Paprika Chocolate Chunk Cookies

20 servings
20 min

Simply put, you MUST make these cinnamon paprika chocolate chunk cookies!

cinnamon paprika chocolate chunk cookies in parchment cups set on a linen napkin

does your spice rack look like mine?

This is my spice rack:

spice rack

And I bet it looks a lot like yours. Spices, to me, are nothing special. Something to be added to a dish if the recipe calls for it – and that is all. I don’t spend a lot of money, time or thought on them. I do not grind whole cloves, or grate my own nutmeg (sorry, Martha).

But while thinking about this “ just a pinch” series, I wondered if using better quality spices would make a difference in my cooking and baking.

You can guess the answer…

I needed a “spice education” – and got one with spice revolution!

I feel like I’ve been to “Spice School 101” with the charming and talented Lindsay Fastiggi of Spice Revolution, a small local shop in a neighboring town. I asked her for two samples to cook with – a spice that I used all the time (cinnamon), and one that I NEVER use (paprika). My challenge to myself was to learn something new about a spice I use at least once a week, and to explore another spice that I had little experience with.

I had no idea how complex and amazing cinnamon could be!

She started by opening a package of Saigon Cinnamon, and invited me to take a whiff. Normally, the first thing to hit me with cinnamon is the smell of wood. She said that this is common for the cheaper, mass produced brands. But with this one, all I detected was a warm, delicate, “cinnamon-y” aroma. I wanted to eat it straight out of the bag (a typical response, she told me).

and I knew even less about smoked paprika!

Then I tried her Pimenton de la Vera Dulce (aka Smoked Spanish Paprika). I tend to avoid commercial smoked products as the artificial “smoke” is often so overpowering. But this was different. Smoky, yes – but in the background, enhancing the spice as opposed to killing it.

cinnamon and smoked paprika were just MADE for these delicious chocolate chunk cookies!

As Lindsay is an accomplished chef I asked her to provide me with recipes highlighting each of the spices. What she did was combine them in the recipe you see here.

I have never baked with a spice I would typically associate with more savory dishes, so I was a bit skeptical.

What happened was magical.

The cinnamon was a gorgeous complement to the dark chocolate chunks. And the smoky paprika? That tiny “essence” of smoke lent such an unusual – and elegant – layer to the same-old chocolate chip cookies. They were fabulous. I had also never baked cookies using olive oil instead of butter. They baked up puffy and so, so moist – a dream to work with.

smoked paprika and cinnamon cookies, spice revolution

what ingredients do you need?

brown sugar

white sugar

olive oil


kosher salt


baking soda

Saigon cinnamon

smoked Spanish paprika

dark chocolate chips or chunks

A few interesting facts on these spices – why they are better than the mass produced variety, as well as their health benefits:

Saigon cinnamon is ground fresh from Vietnamese cinnamon bark and then shipped to the store, producing a rich, dark cinnamon. Saigon Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar, improve the body’s ability to process and store glucose, and lower cholesterol.

Paprika is actually made from bell peppers that are dried slowly over an oak burning fire for several weeks. The result is a sweet, cool, smoky flavor with no heat. Paprika is very high in antioxidants and vitamin C.

how do you make these cookies?

These cookies are fast and a dream to whip up. Using olive oil instead of butter means no waiting for butter to soften, and all you need is one bowl!

Start by beating both sugars and the oil till combined, then beat in the egg. In a separate bowl combine salt, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and paprika. Add the dry ingredients and beat again. Add the chocolate chunks and fold in till just combined. Then scoop onto a baking sheet and bake till golden brown.

These cookies are fast and a dream to whip up. Using olive oil instead of butter means no waiting for butter to soften, and all you need is one bowl!

what do these cookies taste like?

I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck cookies filled with cinnamon and paprika taste like. I was skeptical too. A spiced cookie is one thing – but a spicy cookie? I’ll start out by saying that the cookies are in no way hot – not even a little. And the smokiness from the paprika is so subtle, and is more of a hint than an overwhelming flavor. I attribute this to the high quality of spice revolution’s spices. This recipe has really changed my view on how a good versus mediocre quality spice can have a major effect on the end product!

What I also loved about these cookie was how the spices played off of the chocolate chunks. One issue I always have with chocolate chip cookies is the “one note” of the usual recipes. Ingredients like flaky sea salt, tahini and miso can help augment the overall flavor, which is exactly what’s happening here. The cinnamon and paprika are a beautiful pairing with the dark chocolate chunks and I just can’t stop raving about them?

can you substitute butter for the olive oil in these cookies?

I suppose you could, but I wouldn’t. To start, using olive oil means that there’s no waiting for butter to soften. For an impatient baker like me this is a major plus! But of course that’s not the only reason. Olive oil is AMAZING in baked goods, both from a texture and flavor perspective. Texturally, olive oil creates a tender cookie that is crispy on the outside – so, so delicious. And olive oil’s distinct flavor is an asset to this recipe. Being more “savory” than butter, it meshes beautifully with the spices, and really adds to the final product. Give it a try and see what you think!

how do you store these cookies?

Like most chocolate chips cookies, these beauties will last at room temperature in an airtight container, best eaten within 5 or so days. But ALSO like most chocolate chip cookies, they freeze perfectly for longer storage. I like to freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet and then layer them, separated by sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container. They will keep for months this way.

check out spice revolution in person or on-line!

If you’re in New York you can visit Spice Revolution in Cold Spring, just north of the city. Or peruse her on-line shop!

In addition to her spices, Lindsay carries dried herbs, mushrooms and chilies. She also stocks an unusual collection of exotic chocolate bars from all over the world. She has bars that are soy, gluten, sugar and dairy free as well as raw, vegan and kosher varieties.

So go – spice up your life! And tell me – do you ever use spices in non-traditional ways? Would you share some ideas with me? Thanks!

smoked paprika and cinnamon cookies, spice revolution
cinnamon paprika chocolate chunk cookies in parchment cups set on a linen napkin
Cinnamon Paprika Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Recipe details
  • 20  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat both sugars and the oil till combined. Add the egg and beat again.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and beat till just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chunks.
Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or till golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • This recipe is courtesy of Lindsay Fastiggi from Spice Revolution.
Sheri silver
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