Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies

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My friend Jill made Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies as part of a December cookie bake-off, and they sounded great. I had to try them. The cookies are basically chocolate snickerdoodles with cayenne mixed into the cinnamon sugar that coats the outside.

This was a pretty straightforward recipe to make. After I mixed together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt), I creamed margarine with sugar in a separate bowl with an electric hand mixer. I added the eggs, and gradually added the flour mixture. The recipe says to use heaping tablespoons to measure the dough. For some reason, I decided to eyeball it. I ended up getting a couple more than the 32-cookie yield the recipe said I should get.

{Edit: The second time I made these, I also got more cookies. Also, if your cream of tartar is old, your cookies won’t spread out. They’ll be little balls – delicious, but not the same. If they don’t spread out, still take them out at the right time – don’t overbake!}

You roll the dough into balls, and then roll them in the cinnamon-cayenne-sugar mixture. I have Indian “chilli powder” that I use in place of cayenne.  I didn’t know if it would be hotter than regular cayenne pepper, so I decided to make a test cookie. The cinnamon-chile powder sugar was spicy on its own (I tasted it), but it wasn’t nearly so hot once it was on a cookie. {Edit: Be sure to use the full 1/2 teaspoon of chile unless you’re really sensitive!} I baked the rest of the cookies on silpat-covered baking sheets at 400F for 10 minutes – any longer than that and they got a little too crisp.

mexican hot chocolate cookies
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

These were fantastic cookies. They turned out beautifully. I love cookie dough that you roll into balls before baking; the cookies spread out evenly as they bake and turn out perfectly round (and, they practically look store-bought). The few Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies I ate the night I made them were good, but they became uniformly soft and chewy, even out to the edges, after being in a sealed container overnight. The chocolate cookie was rich and chewy. Some of the cookies were hotter than the others, but that mostly just depended on how the cayenne pepper settled in the cinnamon sugar. A few cookies were a little spicy as you ate them; for most of the cookies, the cayenne left your mouth warm after you ate the cookie. I took some to work, and everyone there really liked them; we had friends over, and they all liked them too. I really enjoyed this recipe; it’s a keeper!

Want this as ice cream? Try Aztec Hot Chocolate Ice Cream.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart
Author: Leona Konkel
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder optional
  1. Cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer or stand mixer. Add eggs and beat until combined. On low, add flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, mixing until just combined.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Scoop balls into heaping tablespoons; roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 3 inches apart on parchment or Silpat-lined or greased baking sheets. Bake at 400F for about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are set in the center and begin to crack. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


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