Friday, October 7, 2016

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies


I had very few real plans for the first day of the fall break. I wanted to stay home, catch up on some cleaning, maybe fit in some reading, a little crochet or cross-stitching, if possible. I also wanted to bake cookies. I hadn't baked cookies since summer; cookies require a blank space of a few hours and a lot of room to spread out. I hadn't had any of this lately, so cookies weren't happening. Yesterday, though, cookies were going to happen. I tried a recipe I've had my eye on for months, Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies from Martha Stewart, and oh, boy, am I glad I did! These cookies have the perfect flavor combination - sweet, spicy and richly chocolatey, just like authentic Mexican-style hot chocolate, with a very satisfying crisp-crumbly texture and pretty, crinkly tops.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies (my batch made about 4 dozen 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)

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.


An interjection from me: the recipe calls for chile powder, which is not the same thing as "chili powder," such as you might use in chili con carne or taco meat filling. That kind is typically a prepared mixture of ground chile peppers, garlic, onion, cumin and salt. The kind to use for these cookies is plain ground red chile peppers. Here in New Mexico, this is easy to find. I keep medium-heat red chile powder, shown above, in my pantry, to use in all sorts of savory recipes. I was concerned about the spiciness of my chile powder and originally planned to use half the amount in the recipe, but it was very mild when mixed with the sugar and cinnamon, so I used the full half-teaspoon.


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 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating halfway through.


Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in airtight container, up to 1 week).


These are the most interesting cookies I've made in a long time. I don't take these things lightly - I really love cookies. But these are very different from the types I'm usually drawn to. The flavors are quite complex, spicy without being hot, sweet but not cloyingly so. The heat is mild, a light but noticeable warmth in the back of the throat - even the most spice-averse member of the family enjoyed them. There's an autumnal air about them, and as I suspected, they're even more delicious with a cup of coffee. Why are you still sitting there? Go bake some!

25 comments:

  1. oh that sounds so good!!! :)))) thanks for the recipe!!! and the tip about the c. powder!

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  2. I have a recipe that is similar. Mine are called Mexican chocolate crinkles. They don't have the chili powder and are rolled in sugar and are so good! I'd like to try this version too. The chili powder intrigues me.

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  3. Well it is too late to make some tonight but I definitely want to try to make some. Thanks for sharing the difference between chile/chili. I will see if I can find chili. Happy Weekend and Happy School Break, Jennifer! XX

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  4. I saw this recipe the other day and thought it looked good. Love the way they crack on top, very professional. Have a good weekend Jennifer. CJ xx

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  5. Gosh, they look good! Definitely one to try - thank you for sharing the recipe. xx

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  6. Crumbs, they do look good, Jennifer! :o)

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  7. They look amazing. When you mentioned these earlier in the week I bookmarked the recipe straight away. I'm not usually a huge fan of chocolate cookies but the mention of chilli intrigued me. I just need to figure out how to convert this recipe to grams! X

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  8. They look fabulous and now you've got me wanting to make cookies.

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  9. They look fantastic Jennifer, I'd eat them all in one go. My kitchen is still only half functional so I bought some frozen Ikea cinnamon buns instead. Have a wonderful weekend. x

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  10. These look good Jennifer. I always think of chocolate and chilli as being very Mexican and I'll never forget when a well-travelled friend first told me about adding dark chocolate to chilli con carne which was a complete revelation all those years ago. Now I just need to decide what to bake first: your biscuits or Sam's fruit loaf.

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  11. They look so perfectly formed. Any left? Jo xxx

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  12. They look delicious. Happy Fall my friend.
    Meredith

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  13. I must say, those look divine! I always loved chocolate crinkle cookies and those look like them except with the addition of the chile. I bet they are delish! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  14. I adore chocolate in any form so I thank you very much for these cookies. I think I'll make some soon. They look amazing.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  15. They look yummy Jennifer I could just eat one now with my coffee. :) xx

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  16. Sounds wonderful, I will definitely be giving them a go for the next time I have visitors.

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  17. Hello Jen. I know I'm late to the party but could I please join in you Winter Project-a-long this year again??I like the look of those biscuits/cookies.

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  18. These cookies look and sound so delicious Jennifer! I am very tempted to make some...thank you for sharing.
    Happy new week.
    Helen xox

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  19. Hi Jennifer! YUMMY! It's that cookie time of year!

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  20. Well, I was thinking, as I read along, that I would make them but without the chili powder. But, by the time I got to the end, you may have convinced me to try them with it. We'll see -- I don't like spicy stuff -- but I do LOVE cookies!!!

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  21. These look and sound delicious, Jennifer. It's also very interesting about the chile/chili powder. In the UK we just have chilli (with two 'l's!) powder which is the same as your chile. There may be powder mixes but they're branded. For Gillian and any other UK readers, using my conversion charts the measurements are:
    280g plain flour
    60g cocoa
    250g butter
    400g sugar (caster sugar? 345g for the mixture and 55g for coating).
    I'm off to check whether I've got the ingredients in my cupboard! Sam x

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  22. I love how these cookies look! So yummy ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  23. popping into say *thank you* for your comment on my blog - I often feel like you really 'get' what I am trying to do on my blog with story. I hope you are having a great day today! I made a new (but old) biscuit recipe yesterday for Canadian thanksgiving; I know you love to cook and bake, so it makes me think of you! Will try to post about this sometime soon also! Blessings to you!

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  24. I made these a couple of years ago for Christmas - they were delicious! Now that we don't eat processed sugar anymore, I don't bake things like this. Who knows, I might make an exception for Christmas this year and indulge in one. ;-)

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  25. These looks really tasty, I think my oldest son would really enjoy them, he likes spicy flavours x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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