This is one of my favorite recipes for Mexican Cookies. Typically, they are callled Mexican Christmas Cookies but I took Christmas out of the title because I make them year round! In fact, the first time I ever tried the recipe was for a Teacher Appreciation with a fiesta theme.
Mexican Cookies Notes
The original recipe is based on one from the Houston Junior League's Stop and Smell the Rosemary: Recipes and Traditions to Remember. I've made a few modifications over the years so my version isn't exactly the same, but that's where I discovered the original. Speaking of which, Stop and Smell the Rosemary is a very classic Texas/Austin cookbook and its recipes have withstood the test of time. If you're a collector or just want a good Texas cookbook, I hightly recommend. Okay, back to the cookies.
What Makes These Special!
- The coating is interesting because it’s made with the usual sugar and cinnamon as well as grated chocolate, which melts onto the shell of the cookie and adds some color, but not a whole lot of chocolate flavor.
- The flavor is inside the cookie. The combo of cinnamon and vanilla goes a long way, and that hefty proportion of butter does its job for the texture. These aren't quite as dusty as Polverones, but they are ethereally light and delicious, nonetheless.
- While not exactly flashy in appearance, they will impress after one bite. And they're just perfect for an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (230 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon salt omit if using salted butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar (60 grams)
- 2 tablespoons milk (28 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract or Mexican vanilla
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ cups to 1 ¾ cups 7.9 ounces all-purpose flour (see note)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ ounce semisweet chocolate grated
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the salt, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon, scraping the sides of the bowl often, until mixture is smooth. Beat in the baking powder. When it’s thoroughly mixed in, add the flour and stir by hand until it’s well mixed. The batter should be soft, yet sturdy enough to shape.
- With a level tablespoon, scoop up the dough and shape into 24 balls. Place the balls on a plate and chill for 2 hours or if baking ahead, chill until very firm, then put in a heavy duty zipper bag and freeze.
- When ready to bake, bring the dough balls to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Arrange the dough balls, spacing about 2 ½ inches apart on ungreased baking sheets, then press the balls into 2 inch rounds. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, mix the sugar, chocolate and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Remove warm cookies from baking sheets and let cool for about 3 minutes on a wire rack set over a sheet of foil. Spoon coating over the cookies, letting it fall down onto the foil. Scoop fallen coating off the foil and use it to coat the bottom of the cookies. Let cool completely before serving.