Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

This year I had intended to make chai-spiced sugar cookies for my friends' annual holiday cookie swap. Then I changed my mind when I got to the grocery store and realized that the spices I needed were going to cost me $20. We've been trying to stick to a grocery budget since we bought our house, and somehow it didn't seem fair to purchase expensive spices when I won't let John buy his $4-per-can San Marzano tomatoes anymore (o, the sacrifices we've made). Luckily, I had just about everything I needed for these cookies already in my pantry.

Mexican hot chocolate has cinnamon in it, and often some chile pepper to add an extra kick. The chile powder is optional in this recipe, but if you do want to add some heat, make sure you're using chile (with an "e") and not chili (with an "i") powder. It's an important distinction. I omitted the chile powder, but I thought the cinnamon added nice warmth to these cookies without being overpowering. They're basically chocolate snickerdoodles.

Give these a try--they'll make a nice addition to your holiday cookie plate. If you're looking for other cookie recipes, check out last year's Christmas cookie posts:

Holiday Cookie Madness
Cookie Dough Truffles

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chile powder (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

Makes 32 cookies

Download a printable recipe.


erica said...

love this recipe. I have heard Mexican Hot Chocolate is delish, but turning it into cookies. What a great idea! I am your newest follower.

xo said...

I made these cookies last night and I'm SO glad I did! I love them - they have such a great texture! Thanks so much for a great recipe - I'll be passing this one on for sure and making them again and AGAIN!