Welcome to Day 4 of The 12 Cookies of Christmas. Today's cookie is the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie. I came across this cookie because of it's name. I love to make Mexican Hot Chocolate. I love to take my favorite chocolate mix from Hilliard's Chocolate, which is ground semi-sweet chocolate, add a bit of bittersweet chocolate, some cinnamon, a touch of all spice and pinch of chili pepper. Drop a marshmallow on the top and it is amazing. Even better with a shot of kahlua.
Now, if I could just couple that with a great dunking cookie, I would be all set. I was searching for a chocolate cookie recipe and this Martha Stewart Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie recipe kept coming up. Someone wants me to make this cookie. I grabbed all my ingredients and made a batch last week. I couldn't tell something was wrong because the cookies puffed up but never crackled. They looked like slightly mounded snowballs. I couldn't remember the last time I used my cream of tartar, maybe it was old. The other problem was the 400 degree oven. I'm pretty good with timing with my cookies and very (and I mean very) rarely will I burn a cookie...YUP, burned a tray of them. A second tray was OK but I felt like they were questionable if I was going to give them out to friends and family. The taste was good out of the oven, but as the days went on, they became chewy. Nothing to get excited about.
So, I bought a new jar of cream of tartar and back to the mixer I went. This batch of cookies came out much better and I did lower the temperature of the oven by a few degrees. The cookies were crunchy and chewy and the slight heat from the chili powder was perfect. Sometimes you have to try a recipe a few times to see whether it is the actual recipe or the ingredients. Had I not questioned the cream of tartar, I would have walked away from the recipe saying, "These Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies are better in liquid form..."
Bake a batch and serve them up with your favorite cup of hot beverage, it kicks the heat up a notch. Chewy, chocolaty, crunchy and slightly heated. What better on a cold winter day!
Ingredients for the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies:
2 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of chile powder (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 385 (400) degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl.
4. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
5. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using).
6. Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets.
7. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
8. 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 about 48 cookies.
Written by Tricia White