Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies are from a recipe in Martha Stewart's old magazine, Everyday Food. The recipe reminded me of one of my all-time favorites, Tex Mex Chocolate Cookies, so naturally a comparison was in order.
The Everyday Food cookies were slightly sweeter, a bit drier (my other recipe calls for brown sugar and honey, which add moisture), and lacked the chocolate chunks that work so well in the other. Since I felt these cookies needed chocolate chunks of some sort, I threw a few tablespoons of miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips into a portion of the dough to see if that would help. It really didn’t do much and the mini chips seemed to melt into the dough.
The cookies were good. One thing I wasn’t sure about at first but ended up really liking is the way they added the chili powder to the cinnamon sugar mixture rather than put it in the dough. If you use cayenne or chipotle powder, you really feel the burn…and in a good way.
Chile Powder vs. Chili Powder
I just hope people know to use ground chile powder for the chili powder rather than actual chili powder – the blend that you put in chili. It can be confusing, but those two things are very different. I don’t think the chili powder blend would be very good here. Or maybe I'm completely wrong and that's what they used! Yikes! Anyway, cayenne was great.
Here's a good explanation on chile powder vs. chili powder.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose unbleached flour
¼ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I used natural)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon of baking soda
¼ teaspoon coarse salt or use slightly less of regular Kosher salt (like Morton)
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (not in original)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ground chile or chipotle powder
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or hold off on this step if you intend to chill the dough.
Mix together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined. By hand, stir in the flour mixture gradually.
Combine the cinnamon, pepper and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Scoop up tablespoons of cookie dough (slightly heaping) and make 1 inch balls. Roll the balls (or just the tops) in the cinnamon sugar.
Space cookies about 3 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until they start to crack. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 16 cookies.
Note: If you chill the dough, the cookies will be slightly thicker. Also, you’ll probably get different results depending on your oven. My cookie were crispy on the edges and moist in the center. I wish they had been either moister or crunchier, but they were somewhere in between. I usually use an insulated cookie sheet, so that might have had something to do with it. Also, you might get different results if you use Dutch cocoa powder. I used natural. The recipe didn't say what type you were supposed to use so I guess it's okay to use either.