Monday, August 16, 2010

Recipe Wowza: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Ever had Mexican hot chocolate? It's hot chocolate with a dash of chili powder to give it a bit of a kick. I first tried Mexican hot chocolate last November at the Capital City Public Market in downtown Boise, Idaho (hey, y'all!). The chili powder wasn't so much spicy as it was warm and smoky - perfect on a cold, blustery day.

So when I saw this recipe for Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies in an issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, I just had to make them for my husband's potluck get together at work. Whenever there's an occasion, I always volunteer to bake some sort of dessert. I don't get to make sweet treats too often - I love to bake, but I need a reason to do it because the last thing I need hanging around my house is a delicious cake looking all sad and uneaten.

These Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies are chocolate cookies with a bit of cinnamon and a dash of chili powder. Sounds weird, but, trust me, it's not. Even the kids at the potluck loved these cookies and there were none left at the end of the shindig.



* 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, at room temperature
* 1 3/4 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape the side of the bowl, add the eggs, and continue beating to combine.

With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder.

Using heaping tablespoons or a small ice cream scoop, form balls of dough and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls about 3 inches apart on two parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake until cookies are set in the center and begin to crack on top, about 10 minutes (I baked mine for 9 minutes), rotating sheets halfway through.

After baking, allow cookies to cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.


This is a simple recipe, but I do have a few tips for you:

First of all, this makes a thick batter. Don't be afraid to show it who's boss.

Second, things may get a little messy, especially when you go to roll your dough into balls. It's best to just accept this fact.

Speaking of rolling your dough into balls, here's a little tip from me to you because I love you and don't want you to go insane: Get yourself a little bowl and put some flour in it. Before you roll a dough ball, rub some flour all over your hands and then make your ball. The flour will help prevent your dough balls from becoming an impossibly sticky mess. It will also help prevent you from screaming and throwing your batter out of your highest window.

Finally, if you can have two pans in the oven at once, that's fantastic and I love that for you. I cannot seem to have two pans in the oven at once - the cookies on the bottom pan always scorch, even if I rotate the cookies and change racks halfway through. So, I end up doing one pan in the middle of the oven at a time. It takes longer, but I throw away fewer cookies this way. I just keep two pans in rotation and prep the next pan while the other one is baking. (Just make sure your pans have time to cool down between batches!)

This recipe says it makes 32 cookies, but I got 26 cookies. They are beautiful, perfectly round cookies. The edges are crunchy and the insides are tender. I couldn't really taste the chili powder - it just adds a bit of depth to the chocolate-y chocolateness.

Next time, I may add some chocolate chips to the batter just to bump up the chocolate factor a bit more.

If you make these Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies, I hope that you and yours enjoy them! Let me know what you think of them, if you do give this recipe a go.

What sorts of yummy goodness are you all baking up out there? Do share - Wally the Wonder Turtle and I love to swap cooking and baking stories almost as much as we like swapping soaping stories!