Guest baker: Mexican hot chocolate cookies

January 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

Today is the first day in 11 days that my house is quiet.  There are no more house guests or meals to prepare or excursions to organize. I’m happy to be coming down from the holiday buzz, especially because I was feeling a bit under the weather this holiday week.  Fortunately, my sister was here to help complete the holiday baking, because I was not going to be able to do it alone.  She is just beginning to delve into baking, so I was happy to supervise as she mixed up our holiday treats.  I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to give up control in the kitchen.  My sister has been both unsure of her baking in the past, and exhibited some questionable skill, having specialized in the “unicookie”.

I need not have worried though.  She has moved well beyond the unicookie, and no longer feels the need to watch the development of every baked good in the oven.  She did a superb job making these mexican hot chocolate cookies (and some other cookies, which will be the subject of the next blog post).  I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Holiday Cookies .  I had made them previously, and felt like the chocolate flavor needed to be enhanced a bit, so I added chocolate chips to the mix.  I also liked the idea of a sugared crunch on the outside, but the mixture in the original recipe didn’t deliver as I’d hoped.  So, I opted to add the cinnamon and chile directly to the cookie batter and crust the cookies with some raw turbinado sugar for a sweet crunch.  I was really happy with the texture of these cookies– perfectly chewy on the inside, with just a bit of crunch on the outside.  They also have an addictive combination of chocolate and chile, where the spicy kick builds up as you eat through the cookie.  Fortunately for me, we still have a few leftover, despite all the visitors.  I just need to keep them away from everyone else, including one fat cat.  Thanks to my sister for making some truly delicious treats for the holidays.  

Mexican hot chocolate cookies

Yields 2-3 dozen

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle chiles (or other chiles)
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats and set aside. (The texture of these cookies turns out much better on a baking sheet without rims on all sides.)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chile powder.

3. Using a handheld or standing mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until it is pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

4.  Add eggs one a time and beat to combine in to mixture.

5.  Turn down the mixer speed and slowly add the dry ingredient mixture, beating until just combined.

6. Add the chocolate chips and fold in to the batter using a rubber spatula until evenly distributed.

7.  Add the turbinado sugar to a small bowl.  Using a tablespoon, remove dough from the mixture and form approximately 1 inch balls by rolling in your hands.  Roll these in the sugar on all sides.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, 3 inches apart.

8.  Bake at 400 degrees F approximately 10 minutes, or until the cookies begin to crack on the top.

9.  Remove from the oven, and keep on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack for cooling.  The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for at least one week.

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