6ouncesbittersweet or semisweet chocolatechips or block chocolate, chopped
1/2teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1 - 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
FOR THE PUFFS
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the pan with baking spray.
Make the puffs: Whisk the flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of cardamom and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together in a large bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 3 tablespoons butter, and vanilla. Add eggs mixture to the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring well after each addition.
Transfer the batter (which is fairly thin) to a liquid measuring cup and pour it into the cupcake cups, filling them about three-quarters full.
Bake until the tops of the puffs look dry and a little nubby and a toothpick inserted in the center of the puff comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping: Mix the 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt together in a shallow bowl.
Let the puffs cool on a wire cooling rack for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove them from the tin and let cool on the rack for 1 minute more.
While the puffs are still warm, dip the tops in the 8 tablespoons melted butter and swirl them all over in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place the puffs back on the wire rack to cool completely. Eat when cool, with or without the chocolate dipping sauce, and place any leftovers in an airtight container. They will keep for 3 days.
FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE BOURBON SAUCE
Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat to almost boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until it's melted and well combined. Add the bourbon, if using, and vanilla, while stirring continuously. Taste, and if you like it a little sweeter, add the sugar; otherwise leave it as is. The puffs are covered in cinnamon sugar, so I like the sauce without any sweetening.