The cookies are Cowley's improvisation on the Mexican tradition of mixing chiles and chocolate (as in some moles, for example, or in certain chocolate drinks). The combination seemed a natural for Cowley and partner Lee Allen, who have been selling a variety of Mexican- and southwestern-inspired seasoning mixes (called Dusts) since 1987. It also didn't hurt that when the pair began thinking about baked goods (around two years ago), one of their local haunts, the Z Tejas Grill, was serving a tasty ancho fudge pie. Cowley spent months developing the Ancho Chile Fudge Cookie, which has 11 ingredients and is rich and chewy, like a brownie: ''We bake it slowly, at a low temperature,'' he says, ''because it's, well, 47 percent chocolate.'' The ''smidgen of ancho'' doesn't add any chile flavor or heat—although you may feel a pleasant tingle lingering in the back of your throat—but magically balances the chocolate.